Myths and Facts about HIV & AIDS

By:Himanshu Sharma, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Nov 30, 2012

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Myths about HIV and AIDS have been circulating for years. The number of people diagnosed with and dying from AIDS is increasing exponentially over the years. Besides being a medical problem, social stigma of HIV/AIDS is another obstacle. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS are faced with prejudices and ignorance. Here are some of the commonly held misconceptions about HIV/AIDS debunked.
  • 1

    Myth: AIDS and HIV are synonymous

    FACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) impairs body's CD4 immune cells, which helps fight diseases. An individual can have HIV for years or decades. It can be prevented from progressing to AIDS with medication. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a medical condition when an individual has HIV besides infections that cause CD4 cell count drops below 200.

  • 2

    Myth: HIV/AIDS is a communicable disease.

    FACT: You cannot get HIV by being around people who are HIV positive. It is not spread through touch, tears, sweat, or saliva. You can get it from infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or mother's milk.

  • 3

    Myth: Mosquitoes can spread HIV.

    FACT: People worry that biting or bloodsucking insects such as mosquitoes may spread HIV, as it is spread through blood. Mosquitoes do not inject the blood of the person or animal they have last bitten. More importantly, HIV lives for a short span within an insect.

  • 4

    Myth: Infected with HIV/AIDS means you have few years of life left.

    FACT: Some individuals may develop AIDS within a few months as the virus quickly weakens their immune system, to decrease their life expectancy, while others may live for decades with HIV and have a normal life expectancy.

  • 5

    Myth: HIV is curable.

    FACT: There is no treatment or cure for HIV, but medications may keep virus levels low. A doctor will consider your general health and immune system activity before deciding the treatment to maintain CD4 cell count of immune system.

  • 6

    Myth: Symptoms will tell you that you are infected with HIV.

    FACT: Some people don't show have any symptoms and signs of HIV for years after being infected. HIV infected may have some symptoms within 10 days to a few weeks after infection, while others may not have symptoms for several years. The only way to be sure that you are infected is by getting it checked.

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