HIV Myths: Debunking The Most Common HIV Transmission Myths
Through this article, we are going to explore the various ways in which HIV can transmit from one person to another and the different myths and misconceptions associated with HIV. So, let’s get started.
Most of us have read about HIV during our school days. According to our old science books, HIV/AIDS is called one of the severe sexually transmitted diseases. But does HIV only spread through sexual activity?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks and damages the body’s immune system and causes AIDS. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous viruses. Even today, our doctors have failed to discover a proper treatment to combat this virus.
If one gets affected by this virus, he has to suffer from this virus throughout his lifespan. But it is said that a proper medical cure can control the virus.
According to UNAIDS, there were approximately 38 million people across the globe with HIV/AIDS in 2019. Of these, 36.2 million were adults and 1.8 million were children (<15 years old). One of the major reasons behind the increasing rate of patients is the lack of awareness about this virus and disease. There are numerous myths and misconceptions about the transmission of HIV and it has deep effects on society.
This article primarily deals with the numerous myths associated with HIV and its impact on people’s lives. So, lets us take you to these myths and misconceptions.
Myths Associated With Transmission Of HIV
Often it is believed that HIV transmits through close contact with an HIV-positive person. Therefore, people start alienating themselves from the infected person. Here is a gist of the myths that are associated with the transmission:
- HIV can be spread by touching the infected person.
- By eating together.
- HIV can be spread through sharing water bottles and eating utensils.
- Insects can spread HIV by biting an infected person followed by an unaffected person.
- HIV can be spread by sharing the same toilet with the infected person.
- It can be transmitted from one person to another by hugging and even by shaking hands.
- An HIV-positive couple does not need any protection during any sexual activity.
Busting the Transmission Myths
All the above-mentioned myths are based on people’s misconception that HIV transmits through close contact.
To date, it is believed that one can get HIV by staying with an HIV-positive person. It is the biggest myth that is associated with HIV transmission.
However, according to doctors, the virus can be transmitted only through certain bodily fluids that are capable of carrying the elements of the virus. These bodily fluids include blood, semen, vaginal secretion, or breast milk.
- HIV can spread only through oral and anal sex. One can get HIV by having sex with an HIV-positive person. Not only through sexual activities but HIV can also be transmitted through blood transfusions. If an HIV-positive person donates his blood then the other person who has received the blood is surely going to get HIV.
- It can also spread by sharing the same syringe or needles for injecting the drugs into a different person.
HIV can also transmit from a pregnant woman to her newborn child. Therefore, the HIV-positive couple must pay attention to this while indulging in any kind of sexual activity as their child can be infected. It is necessary to use protection for an HIV-positive couple while having sex. Apart from this, an infant can also get infected through breastfeeding.
- Through this article, we would like to bust all the above-mentioned myths. To date, medical science failed to prove that HIV can be transmitted by staying with an HIV-positive person. One can never get HIV by touching an HIV-positive person or by shaking hands or hugging them. Also, one can not get HIV by sharing the same room or toilet with an HIV-positive person.
These kinds of myths often lead to the discrimination, isolation, and marginalization of HIV-positive people. Additionally, These kinds of myths do have severe impacts on the lives of infected people. In the next section, we will look at the impacts of the transmission myths associated with HIV.
Impacts on the lives of people infected by HIV
Throughout history and even today, there is a kind of stigma associated with HIV. This stigmatization of HIV often compelled HIV-positive people to hide their disease to protect them from social marginalization and isolation. Often these people hide their disease and do not get proper treatment and medication. Due to this, they end up getting AIDS and their medical situation gets worse.
Most of the above-mentioned myths are the result of a lack of information and awareness about HIV in society. Due to the stigmatization, people feel hesitant to talk about this disease. Most of these people are unaware of the various causes and mediums through which HIV can be transmitted. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness, they end up transmitting the virus to their family members and friends.
Most of the time, people get married to an HIV-positive person and they get HIV. Later on, their children also get HIV. All of these cases are very common in underdeveloped areas where people do not have access to education.
Most of the above-mentioned myths and misconceptions are the result of a lack of education. In India, these kinds of myths are very common. Even today, people face stigmatization and isolation because of being HIV-positive. Often, people lose their jobs and homes because of HIV detection. There are cases when the entire family is being marginalized and forced to live in the outskirts of the villages.
We need to be empathetic towards these people. HIV is not a curse. It is only a kind of infection that can be controlled and suppressed through the proper medication and medical treatment. Through this article, we would like to urge the readers to please be kind to the people infected with HIV.
In the next section, we are going to look at the ways through which one can prevent HIV from the transmission.
Ways to Prevent HIV
Prevention is better than cure
Indeed, in the case of HIV/AIDS, prevention is the best and only option to stay safe. Unfortunately, we do not have proper treatment to cure HIV. So, we must rely on ways to prevent HIV. Here, we present few ways to prevent HIV. However, consulting a doctor and getting tested is always the best option.
- Get yourself and your partner tested before any kind of sexual activity.
- Always use condoms while having sex.
- Limit the number of your sexual partners
- If an HIV-positive woman is pregnant, she must consult the doctor. It is necessary to take proper medication to prevent the child from getting HIV.
- Doctors should never use the same needle to inject different patients.
- Unfortunately, if one still gets infected with HIV, he/she can no longer live an ordinary life. One only needs proper medication and encouragement of people to lead a regular and happy life.
Through this article, we would like to spread a kind of awareness among our readers to be a bit more cautious and informative about HIV. We must stop believing these kinds of myths about the transmission of HIV. Indeed, HIV has some severe health implications and it can impact one’s immunity system. Therefore, it is important to take proper medication.
One should never face discrimination because of HIV. We believe that as responsible people, we must help and support these people so that they can lead happy life.
With this article, we have shed light on the different aspects of HIV. We have discussed the different myths that are associated with HIV and its implication on the lives of the people. We have also discussed different ways to prevent the virus. We hope that it will help all the readers to get a better idea about the transmission of HIV.
You can also read: 13 Symptoms Of HIV in Women
April 19, 2021 Sam Bell