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Myths and facts of HIV / AIDS 

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HIV infected persons are often considered to be a taboo in the society and are victims of social abhorrence. This happens due to lack of right knowledge about HIV/AIDS wherein the myths become facts and based on that people exhibit such irrational behavior.

So, we have decoded the myths and enlightened you the facts associated with HIV/AIDS.

Myth: HIV/AIDS can be cured

Fact: Neither there is any cure not there is any vaccine known till date for HIV/AIDS. However, anti HIV drugs can only increase immunity of the body and control replication of the virus.


Myth: You get HIV/AIDS if you touch, hug, share food, clothes or by mingling with the infected person

Fact: HIV never gets transmitted if you share food, clothes utensils, use the same toilet, touch, and hug the infected person. It spreads only when infected body fluids like semen, blood, vaginal discharge, breast milk and contaminated needles come in contact (enter the bloodstream) with the healthy person. 

HIV also does not spread through sweat


Myth: HIV infection can spread through social kissing

Fact: If you plant a kiss on the cheeks or perform any kind of “social kissing’ you do not acquire the infection. HIV doesn’t get transmitted through saliva. However, to be on the safe side avoid wet kissing like French kiss, licking tongue.

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Myth: Homosexual men and drug addicts are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS

Fact: HIV infection does not discriminate between homosexual or heterosexual partners. As long as you are having unprotected sexual intercourse or any other risky behaviour, like sharing needles with an HIV infected person, you are at sheer risk.


Myth: Birth control devices like IUD, pills, cervical caps, sponges, etc. protect from HIV infection

Fact: Wrong! Such birth control methods only prevent pregnancy and in no way offer protection against any kind of sexually transmitted diseases.


Myth: Oral sex does not transmit the HIV virus

Fact: You can get HIV/AIDS if you have oral sex with your HIV infected partner. Chances are high when wounds are present inside the mouth. So use a latex barrier during such activities.


Myth: A person tested negative for HIV can never get infected

Fact: The symptoms take 3 weeks to 10 years to develop. If you have been tested negative currently doesn’t entail that you cannot have the infection later. The only solution is to schedule another check up after consulting with your doctor. A follow up test can be done 4 weeks after exposure.


Myth: HIV infection can pass through condom

Fact: Using condom is the best way to have safe intercourse with an HIV infected person. If the condom breaks, then emergency drugs are available to stop the transmission of HIV, which is most effective when taken within 24- 72 hours after exposure.


Myth: Getting diagnosed with HIV/AIDs means early death with AIDS

Fact: This matter is subjective. If you are diagnosed early and have started the effective treatment, then you may not acquire AIDS as the viral load in your body gets considerably controlled. You can lead a healthy life for a long term if you continue with the treatment and practice safe techniques suggested by your doctor.


Myth: People with HIV cannot have babies

Fact: Absolutely wrong. HIV infected couples can have healthy babies. A technique called “sperm washing” is performed separate the genetic material from the semen and then IVF is carried out. HIV infected pregnant moms are given anti HIV drugs during pregnancy for protecting the baby. The baby is delivered with C-section and is not allowed to breast feed.


Myth: HIV and AIDS are the same thing

Fact: HIV is the virus that gradually leads to AIDS, which is an illness acquired due to the virus making the body susceptible to opportunistic infections.


Myth: HIV infected person who is under anti-retroviral therapy cannot transmit HIV

Fact: The virus is still present in his/her body and the individual will remain HIV positive throughout his life. Anti-retroviral therapy doesn’t stop viral transmission from one person to another, it only reduces viral load in the body. 

Make sure you study these aspects properly before believing on those self formed notions or staying with an HIV/AIDS infected person.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: December 11, 2013

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