Top 12 Myths about HIV/AIDS

There are lots of myths around, but the facts of how you can get HIV, and how you can protect yourself, are very simple.

By knowing the facts about HIV, you can save yourself a lot of worries and help to bust myths and misconceptions. Here we debunk those myths and give you the facts about how HIV is passed on…

Myth No. 1: Can I get HIV from Animals?

No, you can’t HIV from animals.HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which means that the infection can only be passed between humans.

Myth No. 2: Can I get HIV from non-living things?

 No, you can’t get HIV from non-living things even if you put that in your mouth such as spoon, teacup, sharing cigarette, etc, etc.

Myth No. 3: Can you get HIV through oral sex?

The risk of HIV from oral sex is very small unless you or your partner have large open sores on the genital area or bleeding gums/sores in your mouth.

There is only a slightly increased risk if a woman being given oral sex is HIV-positive and is menstruating. However, you can always use a dental dam to eliminate these risks.

Myth No.4: HIV does not cause AIDS

HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS. AIDS is not caused by party drugs, AZT, government conspiracies, or anything else but the virus. If you have AIDS, you have HIV. If you do not have HIV, you cannot get AIDS. This has been verified by over 25 years of solid, scientific proof.

Myth No. 5: There is a cure for HIV

Unfortunately, there is no cure for HIV yet,

Myth No. 6: Lesbians do not get HIV

Although it is much less common for women to pass HIV to other women during sex, lesbians can still get HIV. Lesbians who use drugs and share drug injection equipment can get HIV from a needle or syringe that has been used by someone who is living with HIV.

Myth No. 7: HIV is a death sentence

With proper treatment, we can now expect people with HIV to live a normal life span.

Myth No. 8: HIV always leads to AIDS

HIV is an infection that causes AIDS. But this doesn’t mean all HIV-positive individuals will develop AIDS. AIDS is a syndrome of immune system deficiency that is the result of HIV attacking the immune system over time and is associated with weakened immune response and opportunistic infections. AIDS is prevented by early treatment of HIV infection.

Myth No. 9: I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV-positive

HIV isn’t spread through touch, tears, sweat, saliva, or pee. You can’t catch it by:

  • Breathing the same air
  • Touching a toilet seat or doorknob or handle
  • Drinking from a water fountain
  • Hugging, kissing, or shaking hands
  • Sharing eating utensils
  • Using exercise equipment at a gym

You can get it from infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk.

Myth No. 10: Only people who inject heroin get HIV

This is NOT TRUE. It is not the drug that causes HIV. It doesn’t matter if you are injecting heroin, crack, steroids, tanning products, snow blow, hormones …..etc.  It’s the sharing of needles and works that puts you at risk of getting HIV.

Myth No. 11: If you have HIV you can’t or shouldn’t get pregnant

This is NOT TRUE. Many women with HIV get pregnant, have healthy pregnancies, and deliver healthy HIV negative babies.  You will be looked after by a specialist team who will put a plan in place for you.  The treatment available now means that the chance of you passing HIV on to your baby is less than 1%.  However, if you have HIV it is recommended that you don’t breastfeed.

Myth No. 12: People who have HIV can’t have sex with people who do not have HIV

You can have sex with a person who doesn’t have your same HIV status, and there are a number of things you can do to help prevent HIV transmission during sex. This obviously includes condoms, but also, when someone living with HIV is on treatment and achieves an undetectable viral load, the risk of transmitting the virus is almost zero.




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