Many people are trying to get and stay informed of the myths and facts about HIV and AIDS, because it’s so widespread and affecting so many people. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus that attacks important cells that make the immune system work. The virus multiplies while stripping the body of the immune system defenses. AIDS is the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which is a fatal disease of the immune system caused by HIV. HIV and AIDS should be taken very seriously, so if you’re not too sure about the myths and facts about HIV and AIDS, keep reading to find out a few.
1. ”Teenagers Cannot Get AIDS”
Fact: “Anyone who is sexually active or who shares needles to inject drugs is at risk for getting AIDS.” This is one of the myths and facts about HIV and AIDS, which many teenagers in our society believe. Lots of young people think they’re invincible and immune to serious illnesses, infections, and diseases, but that can’t be any further from the truth. Teenagers are just as much at risk as anyone else, so if you know someone who believes this, share the truth.
2. “a Person Can Be Infected with HIV through a Bite of a Mosquito”
Fact: There are no histories or cases of HIV transmission through insects. A few people I know had this theory about how AIDS and HIV invaded our country. They said that it came from a mosquito and then moved on from person to person through sexual encounters, and mosquitoes still carry small traces of HIV; so if you’re bitten enough, you’ll get HIV. They’re wrong, though that theory would make a good horror film!
3. “Only Male Homosexuals Get AIDS”
Fact: Anyone can get AIDS; men, women, children, neighbors, friends, and parents! It is true that engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors increases the risk, but AIDS is not reserved for homosexual men.
4. “It is Not Good to Eat out, Because the People Making the Food Might Be Infected”
Fact: There are no histories or cases of HIV transmission through air, water, food, or cooking utensils. It’s important to be cautious of HIV and AIDS, but the best way to do that is to be informed. Research how you can and can’t get it, and use that information. There’s no need to live in a bubble or refuse to eat out.
5. “You Can Tell if a Person is Infected with HIV Just by the Way He or She Looks”
Fact: It’s possible to have AIDS in the body without showing any signs of illness at all. Even if you could tell, it wouldn’t be a permission slip to de-friend them and stay away, which takes me to the next myth.
6. “if You Want to Be Safe, You Shouldn’t Get near a Person Infected with HIV”
Fact: HIV and AIDS can’t be transmitted through regular contact. Talking, touching, or even sitting next to a person infected with HIV will not transmit HIV or AIDS to you, nor will it harm you for that matter.
7. “You Can Get Infected with HIV by Donating Blood”
Fact: “The sterile procedures used to collect blood prevent any risk of infection to a donor.” That’s only speaking for legit blood donations. If you go to someone’s backyard, I’m sorry, but there’s no security in that! That also goes for tattoo and piercing parlors. You have to be sure they take similar sterile procedures to donating blood.
HIV and AIDS are a serious and big deal. Now that you know some of the common myths of HIV and AIDS, I hope you use the facts to your advantage. Did you find this article helpful? What other myths and facts do you know about HIV and AIDS?
Sources: Pruitt, B. E., Crumpler, K. S., & Stith, D. (2001). Prentice Hall health: skills for wellness (3rd. ed.). Glenview, Ill.: Prentice Hall.