HIV can be transmitted through breast milk and increase the risk of perinatal HIV infection.

Maternal ART can significantly reduce the risk of transmission through breast milk, but it does not exclude the risk of infection. In resource-limited locations, such as South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes that mothers living with HIV should breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue breastfeeding for at least twelve months, including supplemental foods from the second half.

The mother’s health should be maintained with ART (Antiretroviral Treatment) adherence to decrease the risk of transmission through breastfeeding, and in doing so, support the mother’s health.

An HIV-positive mother can breastfeed and bottle feed simultaneously under supervision by their healthcare workers. The healthcare worker will reassure you that ART reduces the risk of postnatal HIV transmission even when the baby is on mixed feeding.

Mixed feeding may affect a good supply of breast milk. It is important to discuss options when considering supplementing with formula with your clinic, health nurse, lactation consultant or Doctor.

I was fortunate enough to have had both my children well before being diagnosed HIV positive. My personal choice at the time was to breastfeed. I did for thirteen and eighteen months, respectively.


  • It comprises the correct percentage of nutrients your baby needs, including protein, carbohydrates, fat, and calcium.
  • It offers natural antibodies that help your baby fight illnesses.
  • It may increase your child’s intelligence. 
  • It is always available and is free.


  • It is convenient.
  • It is flexible.
  • Scheduling feedings may be easier.
  • You do not have to worry about what you eat. At times, breastfeeding mothers need to avoid certain foods.

Ultimately it is the mother’s choice and preference as there are benefits to both options. You decide what will work best for you with the guidance of your healthcare worker.

For more on HIV breastfeeding: HIV/AIDS: Infant feeding and nutrition (

A chronic condition can affect anyone. How you manage it is what makes the difference.

You can get coverage of up to 1 million rands for your chronic health condition and up to 10 million if you are living with HIV. SMS LIVING to 33857 to find out more.

I did!

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HIV: Balance & Bounce (1)

On 26 February, 2020, in HIV: Balance & Bounce, by Cindy Pivacic

There are many facets to wellness around HIV and AIDS. Here I speak with Ryan Anderson from LabourNet and the Senior Commissioner Vusumzi Landu from the CCMA.

Aging with HIV

On 30 July, 2018, in HIV & AIDS FAQ, Media, Press, Resource, Speaking Engagements, Testimonials, by Cindy Pivacic


(Video No.2)

Aging with HIV


Living a positive, healthy life. The future is ours.

Viral load
CD4 count

Find out more……

StatsSA says the total number of people living with HIV in South Africa has increased from an estimated 4.25 million in 2002 to 7.52 million by 2018.


(Video No.1)

Living a positive, healthy life. The future is ours.

Viral load
CD4 count

Find out more……on youtube post.

StatsSA says the total number of people living with HIV in South Africa has increased from an estimated 4.25 million in 2002 to 7.52 million by 2018.

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It took me SIX years after diagnosis in 2004 to go public with my HIV status. It was not easy……


Today it is FIVE years since taking that plunge!


My thanks to ALL the people that supported this event and to those that have paved the way for me since, your presence has been unwavering.


Many Thanks to:


Charlotte Kemp and Shawn Fouche for sponsoring my website and ‘forcing’ me to:




My Mother of course deserves more than anyone, my thanks, as she has been my, in her words, ‘biggest fan’ since going public.


I look forward to many healthy years and support going forward as I still have plenty to do!


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Under a Rock

I often ponder which rock some people and/or organisations live under so I can hopefully go and drag them out before it is too late.


We have a pandemic in South Africa as far as HIV & AIDS is concerned but we, as a community have become complacent and blasé about the situation.


With World AIDS Day (WAD) coming up it has become ever more noticeable as companies are reluctant to make much of an effort to create awareness. This should be an ongoing contribution throughout the year, now WAD does not even seem to garner much interest.


South Africa had 400 and 350 THOUSAND NEW infections in 2012 and 2014 respectively. (Those are the people we know of and have tested). That is ¾ of a million people; some countries don’t even have that many citizens to boast about. You would think there would be a serious concern for the future of this country other than taking up the ‘fight’ for education. Before long there won’t be enough ‘solid’ individuals to continue the future in governing this country.


Do not for a minute think it does not affect YOU; we are all affected one way or another.  You may think it does not concern you but I can guarantee you, you do know somebody ‘close-to-home’ that is infected, they may just not have disclosed their status to you , living in fear of rejection.


Many of the ‘big’ stakeholders in the HIV arena do not agree with advocating fear (and for the record, neither do I) as a deterrent of becoming infected with HIV, perhaps it is time we rethink that idea!


Obviously some of these institutions and communities have not seen the devastation it can cause to a person. The consensus seems to be ‘Oh well, I will just go onto ARV’s’, seriously……


If you want to live a life that does not involve daily medication, even if it is the ONE pill, you need to ensure that you DO NOT become infected.


Becoming infected ensures the following:


  • You will have to go for either monthly/bi-monthly/four-monthly/bi-annual/yearly checkups.
  • You will have to take medication and supplements for the rest of your life.
  • You will have added costs to your life.
  • You will lose working hours, like it or not.
  • It will affect your lifestyle.
  • There will be blood taken, tests done resulting in further costs of time, money and stress.
  • It will compromise your immune system making you vulnerable to other dis-eases such as flu, pneumonia, TB, Cancer to name but a few.


It may be at the beginning or the end of your diagnosis that you experience these issues, possibly both, who knows what your system can cope with. You will be able to live a pretty healthy life in-between but at some point you will wonder what you were thinking to put yourself at risk.


Having said that, HIV is a manageable dis-ease but you will eventually die from an AIDS related dis-ease, maybe not for quite a while after diagnosis but it will eventually happen.


Yes, we are all going to die and you may say ‘so what’ but why put yourself in a position where you could in actual fact have made the CHOICE not to accelerate the situation.


My final word is to the corporate sector as well as individuals, be informed, learn from those that have travelled that road.




Retain the services of a person living with HIV and AIDS who is in a position to engage with staff at branch level and at their weekly meetings.


This will create a personal relationship where individuals will feel a connection to a ‘face’ where they can ask questions immediately or interact via alternative methods at a more opportune time to receive the information they require.



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