Lose The Ego!

On 28 February, 2019, in HIV & AIDS, Uncategorized, by Cindy Pivacic

I have been pondering for quite some time whether I should write this post!

Today, after voicing aloud to my HIV compatriot that I had of late, slowed down on sharing HIV & AIDS educational and awareness content on my social media sites, decided to go ahead and write what has been simmering away for a few months.

I had become somewhat embarrassed by several of my HIV ‘activist’ associates having these massive ego’s and ‘look at me’ ‘why am I not being applauded for my contribution’ attitudes.

Seeing that we are all in the same boat and connected via social media, was concerned that I would be perceived to be that way inclined as well. I certainly hope not!

So, to the detriment of sharing information and educating on HIV & AIDS, chose to back off to some extent, and consequently feel I have failed the public.

My intent has always been to share and show, without the rah-rah approach.

By this I mean to demonstrate, over and above sharing information to consistently create awareness, that one can, by living a spirited, productive, healthy and activity filled life, achieve anything you set your mind to.

The plan is to forge ahead now that I have come to terms with the fact that I am NOT them and that there is still a lot to share around HIV & AIDS.

Forever Mine!

On 11 November, 2018, in HIV & AIDS, World AIDS Day, by Cindy Pivacic

To My Darling Virus,                                                                                     11-11-2018

You and I have travelled a long way together; in fact, you are the longest relationship I have ever had, so firmly attached to me.

I would like to commend you for your perseverance. You gave me uphill for the first four years or so, from 2004 to 2008, but have since pulled yourself together and been understanding and supportive.

We are not only good friends (with me in charge of course) but also intimate companions, who understand, respect and take good care of our ongoing relationship.

May we continue to nurture and maintain our bond in such a way as to grow old together.

Your ever loving host,


It would be very remiss of me if I let this slide, especially after Liezel van der Westhuizen, a speaker colleague, friend, and Mastermind Associate could get so excited on my behalf.


I received an animated phone call saying:


‘Do you know that you are ranked Fourth (4th) on the list of famous motivational speakers in South Africa’?


Needless to say, I hopped straight on to the internet to check it out, lo and behold; there I am on a list of 80 of my peers, who would have thought!


I have no doubt it has a lot to do with the amount of visibility, through marketing, SEO’s and general PR that I have done since going public with my HIV status in 2011. (Diagnosed 2004).


It is however very rewarding to know that your message of HIV awareness is recognised, onwards and upwards.


Thanks again @Liezelv #GiraffeLiezel #Giraffeinthecity, much appreciated for sharing this with me, we as speakers should celebrate each other as candidly as you did as we all have an important messages to share.


Check out the list.


Try something NEW for WAD2018

On 1 October, 2018, in Book, The Deadly Seducer, Training, World AIDS Day, by Cindy Pivacic

If you are trying something new for World AIDS Day contact me to find out about my book.

It will be a talking point within your business and/or for employees to take home and share the content with family and friends.

Be proactive in getting the HIV message of awareness and lifestyle management OUT.

Bulk sliding scale pricing available on request.


Email: cindy@cindypivacic.co.za

Did YOU know? – Why should YOU know? – Why should YOU share or care?

Why do we have a fear of discussing topics that should not be swept aside?

Is it because we are scared someone will think we have ‘that disease’?

Or….are we are not sufficiently informed, (not even a little bit) and don’t want to be perceived to be ignorant?

Whatever your reason, it is in your family, friends, associates and colleagues best interest to talk about these ‘unmentionable’ matters as it can enlighten and prevent incorrect information from being shared. Don’t go searching ‘Dr. Google’, rather ask someone in the know and then share the information garnered from them.

If you think talking about Cancer or the big ‘C’, as it was referred to in whispered tones way back when is a major no-no, try getting people to talk about HIV and AIDS!

Now that I have mentioned Cancer, can you imagine being diagnosed with HIV in 2004 and diagnosed with AIDS, four years later?

Between 2004 and 2008,  amid being diagnosed HIV positive, was also afflicted with pneumonia, shingles, (Four bouts in a year, extremely painful) two strokes in 2005 and 2006 respectively, which led to being in a coma for two weeks each time, TB Meningitis and Stage 3 Cancer, (Angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy).

Shew, you say? Try hiding it that from friends and family out of fear of rejection and judgment, that’s a shew and a half! I did manage to do so for six years before deciding to go public with my status.

Had I known what I know now about the dis-ease and the support I received once I disclosed my status, would have made very different decisions much earlier in my diagnosis as it was quite a nightmare trying to carry the burden of knowing my status and keeping it hidden from everyone.

Each time World AIDS Day comes around I reflect on how complacent, that us, as South Africans have become.

Firstly, we do not recognise HIV & AIDS throughout the year but come 1st December everyone tries to jump on the bandwagon and shove it down everyone’s throat, which in turn makes them sigh and turn a blind eye. Not only that, but there is still so much ignorance and myths perpetrated with a dash of out-of-date medical staff, that we are lagging in support, information and awareness.

Rant over.

In some respects, we have come a long way. We manufacture our own ARV’s, offer PrEP to high-risk individuals (a preventative measure) and are rolling out ATM-like dispensers which have been started in the rural areas due to a shortage of accessible clinics for chronic medication users, which includes ARV dispensing.

Now to ‘dish the dirt’ on me.

I know it sounds blasé, but over time one learns to live with the virus as a ‘normal’ person. There is nothing that can change your status, but everything can be changed by an attitude adjustment. You manage your virus with medication and live a healthy productive life.

Being diagnosed HIV positive at the age of forty-six is not something you want to hear, not at any age in fact.

In 2004 my partner at the time knowingly infected me. I only found this out in 2012 after an interview with Carte Blanche, when a friend of a friend put me in touch with an ex-girlfriend of Wayne’s (I can use his name as it the matter got as far as the roll for High Court which allows public access).

Many people are unaware of the absolute basics of HIV, not only the uninfected but the infected HIV positive individual as well. Sadly until the uninfected become infected they choose to remain oblivious. Here are a few choice pieces of information which I hope provide some basic insight into your HIV head-space.

1.  If you feel you have possibly been exposed to HIV, you have a seventy-two hour period in which to get medical treatment and onto PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) to potentially prevent becoming infected.

2.  CD4 count – The CD4 count is like a snapshot of how well your immune system is functioning. CD4 cells (also known as CD4+ T cells) are white blood cells that fight infection. The more you have the better. These are the cells that the HIV virus kills. As HIV infection progresses, the number of these cells declines.

3.  Viral Load – It measures the number of HIV virus particles in a millilitre of your blood. Those particles are also known as “copies.” A low viral load is a sign of the virus copying itself in low amounts in the body. According to AIDS.gov, HIV viral load is typically undetectable below levels of 40–75 copies/mL.

4.  Undetectable = Untransmittable HIV – There are still many people living with HIV that don’t know that if the virus is undetectable, then they cannot transmit the virus to their sexual partners. Undetectable HIV means that the viral load is suppressed and doesn’t show up on blood tests. Note: You are still HIV positive.

We still have a pandemic in South Africa and recent stats have indicated abnormal numbers of new infections:


280, 000 new infections every year.

140, 000 HIV related deaths every year.

Not only do we have these stats, we have the pregnancy figures in schools that are way over acceptable levels with children as young as nine and ten falling pregnant, which, if you think about it, open them up to STI’s as well as HIV.

I have since become a trainer, speaker, and counsellor on HIV and authored two books, titled The Deadly Seducer and Error, Terror & Triumph in order to share more of my HIV journey.

I am pleased to say that even after a massive heart attack in March 2018, resulting in a double bypass (unrelated to my HIV status) I am doing well and at the age of 60, still have much to do so onward and upward I go!

Get tested – Know your status.


Beware of leaving your bookings until the last minute.

Let’s get started!

It happens every year and leaves many companies disappointed and scrambling (me too as I try to accommodate everyone) for a World AIDS Day speaker.

Ideas needed? Some combination topics to consider:

  • The HIV and AIDS Pandemic
  • HIV Statistics – SA vs World
  • How HIV is transmitted
  • Living positively with HIV
  • Counselling, Testing & Treatment
  • Managing HIV and AIDS in the workplace

There IS still a huge problem.

Infections Worldwide         THREE every minute

Deaths Worldwide             TWO every minute

Let’s unpack the problem together!



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……https://youtu.be/ZZnoReU0kAA

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.