Most people are familiar with HIV facts but there are few myths associated around it. Here, we debunk the most common myths of HIV.
HIV/AIDS is a Death Sentence
Earlier, there were no medications available to treat AIDS but now over 30 medications were approved by the US government to fight AIDS and HIV.
Taking Birth Control can Prevent HIV
There are many tools called “prevention tool belt” that can prevent the HIV transmission, but birth control is not one of them. Though birth control does not fight HIV, there are other pills that can fight HIV. One is PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a pill taken daily once to prevent HIV infection and the other is PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) that is taken after exposure to HIV to prevent infection.
HIV can be Transmitted Through Kissing, Sharing Cups/Plates
HIV can be transmitted through a couple of ways, the most common ways are sharing needles and unprotected sex. HIV infection can develop through transmission fluid (semen, breastmilk, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluids or blood) and a port of entry (mouth, vagina, anus, veins). There is no proof that it can be transmitted through saliva.
HIV Positive Women can’t & shouldn’t have Babies
Though HIV can be transmitted from mother to child, it is completely possible for mothers to give birth to healthy babies. There are various options for HIV-positive women wishing to have children.
People Who have HIV cannot have Sex with People Who don’t have HIV
In reality, many people who have HIV have sexual relationships with people who are HIV negative. Condoms will not protect negative people from other negative people, they are just one part of prevention. This means an HIV-positive person can lower their chance of transmitting the virus by 96%. Most people are in serodiscordant relationships (mixed-status relationships) where one person is negative and the other is positive.
Unprotected Sex is Safe When Both are Positive
Most people are unaware of HIV superinfection, which happens when an HIV positive person is infected by a second strain. Condoms and HIV medications are some of the measures that can keep HIV at bay.
HIV/AIDS is just like Diabetes!
HIV/AIDS is a chronic manageable disease. HIV stigma is a feeling of disgrace associated with someone who is HIV positive.
Alternative Medicines can be used to Treat HIV
Many people use alternative medicines to treat HIV symptoms. HIV medicines can have a number of side effects. Using alternative medicines can be dangerous.