Debunked HIV Myths

There’s a range of myths surrounding HIV/AIDS when HIV transmission facts are fairly straightforward. By being aware of how HIV trasmits from one person to another, you can save...

There’s a range of myths surrounding HIV/AIDS when HIV transmission facts are fairly straightforward. By being aware of how HIV trasmits from one person to another, you can save yourself from unnecessary anxiety. here are some of the most common myths associated with HIV/AIDS transmission People need to stop buying into:

First, however, let’s begin with the fundamentals of how HIV is spread. The human immunodeficiency virus can only transmit through bodily fluids that have infection.  For example blood, vaginal or rectal discharge, semen, or breast milk enter your blood. This can typically happen in the following manners:

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Sharing drug paraphernalia
  • Mother-to-child in pregnancy, during birth, or while breastfeeding
  • Contaminated blood transfusions/organ donations
Myth #1 You can possibly get HIV from anybody

It’s just possible to contract HIV from a person who’s HIV-positive.

Myth #2 You can get HIV from bodily contact

HIV is not able to live outside the body, therefore it’s not possible to get infected with HIV by hugging, touching, or shaking hands with a person who is HIV-positive.

Myth #3 You can get infected with HIV through sweat, urine, tears, and stool

HIV is also not within an infected person ’s perspiration, urine, tears, or feces.

Myth #4 Insects can give you HIV

Insects can’t transmit HIV because insects draw blood–they don’t inject the blood of the previous victim.

Myth #5 You can catch HIV through a cough or sneeze

HIV isn’t airborne, so its transmission through sneezing, coughing, or spitting is also not possible.

Myth #5 You can get HIV in the water of an infected individual

Just like it can’t reside in the atmosphere, HIV also can’t reside in water, which means you can’t contract the virus by sharing a bottle or glass of water with an infected individual. You also can’t get infected with HIV in bathrooms, hot tubs, or pools.

Myth #6 You can get infected with HIV by sharing utensils

The important principle of not sharing needles doesn’t apply to utensils, which means that you can’t get HIV through food or utensils even if the person who’s cooking is HIV-positive.

Myth #7 You can get HIV from a toilet seat

This comes back to the concept that HIV can only live within the human body, meaning that the virus is not able to live on surfaces like toilet seats.

Myth #8 HIV can be passed on through oral sex

Unless you’ve got open sores or bleeding gums, the possibility of HIV transmission through oral sex is quite low. The risk is a little higher if a woman who’s HIV-positive and on her period is getting oral sex, but with a dental dam may reduce this risk significantly.

Myth #9 Getting tattoos or piercings can give you HIV

The danger only exists if your tattoo artist has a tradition of reusing needles and doesn’t adhere to standard sterilization methods. But most piercing and tattoo parlors/shops have strict rules about using new equipment for each new client.

Myth #10 You can prevent HIV transmission by taking a shower right after sex

There are plenty of interesting HIV preventative steps which are complete urban legends, from taking a shower straight away after sex, pulling out, with a birth control pill. The truth is that there are currently just two precautionary steps you can take to reduce HIV transmission: use a new condom for every sexual activity and also go on the medication called PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

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