Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 29

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering the following questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 29.1 (tests Learning Outcomes 29.1, 29.2, and 29.3)

Which of the following statements in relation to positive living and PLHIV are false? In each case explain what is incorrect.

A  A Person living with HIV who is on ART cannot transmit HIV to other people.

B  The correct use of condoms prevents the transmission of HIV by about 50%.

C  The nutritional needs of PLHIV who have an opportunistic infection are higher than that of uninfected people.

D  Hand washing with soap and water is important to prevent faeco-oral diseases.


A is false: Even if patients are taking ART they can transmit HIV to other people if they engage in unprotected penetrative sex. This is because ARV drugs do not eliminate HIV from the body; they suppress viral replication.

B is false: If condoms are correctly used, they can prevent the transmission of HIV by more than 98%. The remaining 2% transmission usually results from incorrect use of condoms by the user.

C is true: The nutritional requirement of sick people is higher than that of healthy people. This is because additional energy is needed to compensate for the increased metabolic needs due to illness.

D is true: Handwashing with soap and water is very important in preventing faeco-oral diseases.

SAQ 29.2 (tests Learning Outcome 29.2)

In your community a couple who are both HIV-positive come to your health post asking for advice on their sexual life. Both consider they should not be using condoms as they are already HIV-positive. What will your advice to them be?


Even when both partners are HIV-positive, they have to practise safer sex alternatives such as the consistent and correct use of condoms. If they are involved in unsafe sex, re-infection may occur and different strains of HIV will be passed from one person to the other. This will result in the replication of new viruses that may have different sensitivity to the drugs currently taken by the patient.

SAQ 29.3 (tests Learning Outcome 29.4)

A 30-year old man comes to the health post. He tells you he was diagnosed HIV-positive six months earlier. He says he is not feeling well these days. He barely sleeps at night and sometimes thinks he will be dying very soon. He feels so anxious that he has stopped working. What will you advise him?


In the early periods after being diagnosed as HIV-positive, patients may have different psychological reactions. In this case, the patient might be suffering from mental illness associated with the life-changing news of being HIV-positive. You should encourage him to take a more positive mental attitude, and reassure him about the effectiveness of ART. Refer him to the health centre for further psychological and/or psychiatric evaluation and management. You also need to encourage him to come to your health post or to the health centre for any issues related to his health and/or psychological and physical wellbeing.

Summary of Study Session 29