HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has been buried in misconception since the pandemic was first identified in June of 1981. To overcome the challenges caused by HIV and AIDS, it helps to clear up the mistaken beliefs that surround these illnesses. While many questions about HIV remain unanswered, researchers have studied and learned a lot. Understanding and dismissing the following myths will ensure that the transmission of the virus can be contained.
Let's countdown the top three myths about HIV and the facts needed to combat them.
Myth #3: I can contract HIV by being around HIV-positive people.
Many Americans believe at least one misconception about the transmission of HIV. Evidence proves that HIV is not spread though saliva, touch, sweat or tears. You cannot get HIV by:
Sharing an HIV-positive person’s glass or eating utensils
Touching a toilet seat after an HIV-positive person
Hugging or kissing
Myth #2: I cannot spread HIV if I’m receiving treatment.
Although HIV treatment can diminish the “viral load” of HIV in your blood to an extremely low or undetectable level, the virus still exists in other areas of your immune system. It is vital to engage in safe sexual practices to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.
Myth #1: HIV is a gay disease.
The association between HIV/AIDS and homosexuality is the most popular misconception of all. Contrary to popular belief, HIV has never been a “gay disease.” Any sexually active person can contract this incurable disease, including people in heterosexual or “straight” sexual relationships.
Today, HIV-positive people are able to live a normal and productive life with the help of antiretroviral drugs. For HIV testing, an HIV RNA test is considered the most effective on the market.
Toni Sims is a senior web content writer with STDcheck.com, an online STD testing service. At its core, STDcheck.com is a technology company that has broken the barriers of traditional healthcare. The firm is helping unite the intersection of healthcare and ecommerce, and by doing so, has been able to deliver higher quality of care to health consumers, as well as contributing to the new age of healthcare.