6 Of The Most Common Myths About HIV And Aids DEBUNKED
While it’s important to be aware of the facts surrounding HIV and AIDS, all too often we assume that gossip we’ve heard from friends is correct, and then continue to pass on these untrue ‘facts’ to others. This World AIDS Day we’re debunking six of the most common myths about HIV and AIDS.
Want to get informed? Read on.
1.Myth: You can get HIV from sitting on a public toilet seat
Fact: HIV can’t survive on surfaces, so even if a toilet seat had come into contact with an HIV-positive person’s semen or vaginal fluids, you wouldn’t catch it from there.
2.Myth: You can get HIV from kissing an infected person
Fact: The only bodily fluids that transmit HIV are blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluids and breastmilk. There has never been a recorded case of HIV contraction from saliva.
3.Myth: I would know if I had HIV
Fact: While some people can suffer from flu-like symptoms, rashes and various other signs of HIV, others have no symptoms at all for years. In this time, the virus can cause serious damage to your immune system, so it’s important to get tested.
4.Myth: Only certain people can get HIV
Fact: Everyone is at risk of HIV. Yes, those who regularly have sex without a condom with multiple partners are more at risk, as are people who inject drugs using shared needles. However, anyone can contract the virus if HIV has been able to enter their bloodstream, regardless of age, gender, race or sexuality.
5.Myth: You can’t have a baby if you or your other half has HIV
Fact: There are now medical advances that mean HIV positive women can get pregnant without passing the virus on to their partner and baby. Equally, an HIV positive man can conceive without infecting their partner. If you’re living with HIV and considering having a child, you should always speak to your doctor first and they will prescribe the best course of treatment for you and your partner, before, during and after pregnancy.
6.Myth: HIV is a death sentence
Fact: Back in the 80s and early 90s, there was very little treatment available for HIV and AIDS, but modern medicine now makes it possible to live a normal life span. The Terrence Higgins Trust[http://www.tht.org.uk/myhiv/HIV-and-you/Your-diagnosis/Living-with-HIV-l... offers lots of guidance and information on living with HIV long-term.