HIV: Myths Vs. Facts
For the past thirty years, people have had their own beliefs about HIV, and how it is contracted. The virus has sprouted up variety of misconceptions and myths. Some of these myths have actually increased the amounts of people who become infected with the virus, which causes more people to be HIV positive individuals.
Even though there are still some questions regarding the virus that continue to go unanswered, there has been an excessive amount of research performed, to help clear up questions and concerns. There is still more to learn about the virus, and more research that needs to be carried out concerning it. To ensure that you stay safe, and do not run the risks of contracting HIV, you need to be able to decipher between myths and facts, as they relate to the virus.
MYTH: I Can Catch HIV By Being Around People That Have It
Scientific evidence proves that you cannot contract HIV by touching, sweating, crying, or kissing someone who has the virus. HIV is not contracted by breathing the same air as an infected person, sitting on a toilet seat that an infected person has sat on, or drinking from the same exact water fountain as someone who has the virus. HIV can be contracted through semen, vaginal secretions, and infected blood.
MYTH: HIV Is No Big Deal Medicines Can Help Me
The medications that are used to help people with HIV have advanced, from where they used to be in the past. These medications have made it possible for people with HIV to live long and prosperous lives. However, the treatment drugs do have some drawbacks. They can be expensive and they produce a bout of side effects, for those that take them. Also, there are some strains of HIV that are still resistant to treatment options.
MYTH: HIV Is Transmitted By Mosquitos
Due to the fact that HIV is transmitted by blood, there are a lot of misconceptions that a person can become infected with the virus, if a mosquito were to sting them. Mosquitos are blood sucking insects that do not care who they bite, and whose blood they consume. Therefore, when HIV cases started to increase, many people were frightful that they may increase the possibility of becoming infected if a mosquito were to sting them.
There have been multiple studies conducted regarding this accusation. According to the studies, there is not enough evidence to support the fact that mosquitos can cause the spread of HIV. When an insect stings an individual, they do not inject the blood that they got from another person, into the next. Also, if an insect does bite someone who has HIV, the virus does not live for an elongated frame of time in the body of the insect.
Myth: I Am Heterosexual And Do Not Use Drugs So I Will Not Become Infected
Most men that contract HIV do so by engaging in sexual acts with other men. However, heterosexual men do still run the risk of becoming infected, even if they do not engage in homosexual acts and are no drug users. Sixteen percent of men that become infected and seventy eight percent of women that become infected with the virus, do so through engaging in heterosexual encounters.
MYTH: My Partner And I Both Have HIV-We Do Not Need To Use Protection
Most people believe that if they are in a relationship with someone else that has HIV that they do not have to worry about using contraceptives with the individual, because they cannot spread the virus to a person that is already infected. This is not true, it is best to still practice safe sex, even in this scenario. Just because your partner already has the virus, this does not mean that the both of you have the same strain of the virus.