Necessary Awareness: Commonly Ignored Myths about HIV/AIDS
Posted on February 18, 2015 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Anthony M. Casilla RPH, MS pharm (cand)
Modern health sciences have come quite a long way, bringing us medicine for diabetes and other life threatening diseases. In recent years, it has also made great leaps and bounds when it comes to HIV/AIDS, and has taken the interventions necessary for the sake of those afflicted with it. Despite this, there are still a lot of misconceptions about the disease, leading to fear and social stigma that leaves its victims cast out or treated unfairly by society.
Luckily, by being more knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, we can at least minimize this discrimination issue, if not totally eliminate it. So do yourselves and your neighbors a favor and learn as much as you can about this illness. Start by unlearning some of the myths about it, like the ones listed below:
You Can Get HIV/AIDS by Being near a Patient
This is one of the oldest and most common misconceptions about this disease. Unfortunately, even though this myth has been countered so many times before, it just won’t die out!
So let’s make a few things clear! HIV isn’t airborne; you can’t get it by breathing the same air inhaled by an HIV/AIDS patient. And you can’t get it from touching an HIV-positive person or any of his or her things, either!
HIV/AIDS Always Leads to Death
People used to believe this is fact. However, advances in modern medicine taught us better! HIV/AIDS rarely leads to its victims’ premature death, unless it’s left untreated of course. Thanks to today’s antiretroviral drugs, patients—even those whose condition has progressed to AIDS—can still lead long, productive, and happy lives.
You Can Catch HIV via Saliva
While it’s true that the HIV strain can be found and transmitted through bodily fluids, including saliva, it’s too unlikely for you to caught it from salivary contact. So don’t be afraid to share food, drink and tableware with an HIV/AIDS patient. It’s also harmless to kiss and be kissed by them, in case you’re wondering!
You Can Get HIV from a Mosquito Bite
Imagine getting stuck in the mosquito-loaded room with an HIV/AIDS patient. What if one of these insects bites the other guy and then you? Knowing that the virus can be transmitted via blood, is it possible for you to get HIV/AIDS then?
The answer is a big N-O! First, the virus cannot survive outside a human host. Second, the virus cannot survive long enough inside an insect. And third, mosquitoes only suck blood from its victims, not transfer it from one person to another.
Monogamous Couples Don’t Need to Get Tested
While the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS for monogamous couples is significantly lower than those of promiscuous men and women, there is still a need for them to get screened for HIV/AIDS if one or both persons has had an active sexual life with multiple partners before their relationship. This is because the disease may take a few years before it manifests. If you’re unsure of your partner’s previous sexual activity, it’s best that you have him or her tested.
HIV may be a dreaded disease but there’s no need for you to fear its victims. After all, they’re people like you and me, in need of love and understanding.