Dispelling Myths About AIDS

AIDs or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is a well known deficiency disease that gets transmitted via unprotected sexual encounters, use of infected syringes and also by transfusion of infected blood. Much awareness has been spread to curb the spread of AIDS. There still exists some myths about AIDS and in the following paragraphs we will be discussing these myths.

Myths Regarding The Causes Of The Disease:

Casual Contact Can Cause Infection With AIDS

A very age old perception that is getting hard to eradicate is that the viral infection can spread by casual contact with an infected person. Sharing food, cloth, glass of water, tea, coffee and even sitting alongside an AIDS infected person does not lead to the spread of this infection. Even deep kisses are considered low risk for the transmission of the disease as long as both the partners have no cuts, open soars or gum diseases in their mouths. Some of the main factors which cause the spread of the disease are unprotected vaginal, anal and even oral sex to some extent, sharing of hypodermic needles, breast feeding, childbirth and receiving infected donor fluid, organ or tissue.

AIDS Is A Homosexual Disease

The spread of AIDS virus is not dependent on the sex of an individual. Anyone can get infected with the virus regardless of their sexual orientation. It can infect a newborn, old people, women, heterosexuals, homosexuals anyone who has not followed the golden rules of prevention of this disease.

Mosquitoes Transmit HIV Virus

HIV virus does not reproduce in insects. This nullifies the chances of the virus surviving long enough in the mosquito blood to get transmitted to a healthy person. Secondly, mosquitoes are not known to insert blood of other people but they insert their saliva into the victim’s body and this is what causes malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever etc.

Oral Sex Can Not Cause HIV

HIV infection can get transmitted by having unprotected oral sex with a man or a woman. The possibility of transmission via oral sex is relatively on lower side but the risk of infection increases in case of open sores or cuts on the genitals or in the mouth that brings the blood of an infected partner in contact with that of the other partner.

Condoms Are Full Proof

While condoms are an important means of preventing the spread of the HIV infection, using a condom can not always guarantee safety from transmission.

A Pregnant Woman Passes On Her Infection To Her New Born

If HIV infection gets detected early on in pregnancy then proper medical care can ensure the birth of a healthy baby without the infection. In fact the chances of a pregnant woman with AIDS delivering an infected child get reduced to 2 percent.

Women Do Not Transfer The Virus

While it is very hard for men to get infected by a HIV+ woman as the man remains exposed to the infection as long as it remains in a penetrated state but men also have areas like the opening of the penis through which the virus can be transmitted. As the HIV in the semen of the man can stay within the woman’s vagina for long therefore her risk of exposure to the viral infection is much longer after unprotected sex. Secondly, the vagina offers a larger area for the infection to enter than the penis.

HIV And AIDS Are Different Names For The Same Disease

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. A person contracts AIDS when the count of his or her CD4 falls below 200 and when he or she starts to show symptoms of the infection. A person is known to have HIV in his blood for years without having AIDS. Therefore having HIV does not always mean that you have AIDS.

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Infected Partners Do Not Need To Use Protection For Safe Sex

There are different strains of HIV and as discussed above having HIV does not mean that you are infected with the dreaded disease. So, even if you are infected with HIV, you are at high risk of getting infected with a stronger strain of the virus that can not be cured. This can make treatment very hard. So safe sex is always beneficial.

Myths Regarding Cure Of AIDS:

Virgins Cure AIDS

One very popular myth that has been the main cause behind aggression against women and juvenile children is the allegory of virgin cleansing. In most parts of Africa there exists a widespread belief that HIV will get cured by having sexual intercourse with a virgin.

AIDS Is Incurable

One of the many persisting myths about AIDS is that contracting the disease is like getting a death sentence. If detected at an early stage, HIV is curable. Awareness and understanding of the disease will help an infected person to lead a normal and reproductive life.

AIDS Can Be Cured With Black Magic

The fact is that nothing can be cured with magic, not even AIDS.There are very few medical terms and references which cause so much of panic and anxiety in us as does the words ‘HIV’ and ‘AIDS’. Since its discovery, while continuous efforts are being made to unveil the mysteries of the dreaded viral immune deficiency disease, there still remain a number of myths and misconceptions that surround the spread of the disease.

Some of these myths are so dangerous in nature that they have actually led to the increase in the disease.  A survey conducted has shown that Africa counts for the most number of under aged pregnancy and that too with the dreaded infection. The myth of vaginal cleansing is the main cause behind this widespread.It has therefore become essential that when dealing with HIV we must have the awareness to distinguish between fact and myth.

There are great perils in believing in myths about AIDS as they are sure to result in fear, denial and will eventually harm your health.  Awareness through effective public knowledge about the causes and distinctiveness of HIV/AIDS is essential to fight against false ideas which are playing a major role in the sabotage of the preventive and treatment strategies.

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