AIDS or stage 3 HIV cannot be transmitted or contracted. There are several myths and facts about HIV/AIDS. But debunking these myths and facts about HIV/AIDS can help people understand what steps to take and when to see a doctor.
Innovations in treatment and management have reduced the risk of HIV infection. It also allowed HIV-positive patients to live a long and stable life.
It is now possible to reduce this virus’s levels in the body to undetectable in the test. The virus is untransmittable at this point. This means that a human is unable to transmit the virus to another person.
However, to maintain this level, the individual will need to continue taking their medicine. Otherwise, viral levels could increase again. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can also help prevent transmission.
This article discusses some common myths about HIV/AIDS:
1. HIV is spread by infected insects and pets
Some people think they can get HIV from infected insects or pets. It’s not possible. To spread HIV, a mosquito or another insect will bite a person with HIV and then inject the blood back into another person’s body.
HIV will not survive in a mosquito due to a different genetic makeup relative to human DNA. Insects do not inject blood into a new human, so they cannot spread HIV.
There are other types of the virus, such as the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which affects cats. However, only humans are infected by HIV. In species, humans cannot contract FIV or other immunodeficiency viruses.
2. HIV is a death sentence
With proper treatment, we are expecting people with HIV to live a normal life span, says Dr. Michael Horberg, Kaiser Permanente’s National Director of HIV/AIDS.
Since 1996, with the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy, people with HIV with good access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) can expect to live a normal life as long as they take their prescription medication.
3. HIV can spread by infected water or food
HIV cannot live outside the body for a long time and cannot survive in water. As a result, it is impossible to contract the infection by swimming, drinking, bathing.
Also, it is not possible to contract HIV from:
- Sharing meals with someone who has HIV
- Eat food with traces of blood on it
- Toilet sharing or bathroom equipment
- Coming into contact with spit, sweat, or tears;
The virus is not able to survive exposure to air or heat from cooking. Often, if a human ate food containing traces of the virus, their stomach acid would kill it.
4. You will know that you have HIV because of your symptoms
Not everyone has signs when they are first infected with HIV, so it’s a myth. Many individuals experience flu-like symptoms called “acute retroviral syndrome” (ARS) or “primary HIV infection” within 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection. Symptoms can include fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, weakness, muscle and joint pain, and headache. Symptoms may last a couple of days to a couple of weeks. However, these symptoms are similar to many other diseases. The only way to tell for sure if you are infected with HIV is to get diagnosed.
5. HIV can spread as a result of touching someone who has it
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV cannot spread by touching. The infection can not be spread by shaking hands, kissing, high-five.
An individual can only catch the virus if he or she came in contact with the following fluids from a person who already has HIV:
- Breast milk
6. Mosquitoes are spreading HIV
Because the virus moves through the blood, people were afraid they might catch it by biting or sucking insects. Several studies have shown that this is not true, even in many mosquitoes and HIV cases.
When the bugs bite, they don’t inject a human or animal’s blood that they bit before you. Also, HIV lives inside them for just a short time.
7. You’ve only a few years to live
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, life expectancy was just a few years. That is no longer the case, however. New drugs and treatments have extended people’s lives with HIV. Now many will live a normal lifespan. You could be able to prevent HIV from being AIDS with early intervention.
8. HIV is not a big deal with all modern treatments
There has been a huge amount of medical advancement in HIV treatment. But, the infection can still lead to complications. The risk of death is still high for certain groups of people.
The risk of HIV infection and its symptoms vary based on age, gender, sexuality, and care. The CDC has a risk-reduction method that can help a person estimate their particular risk and take measures to prevent themselves.
9. Male circumcision prevents HIV
This one is definitely a myth when we talk about HIV/AIDS. Male circumcision does not prevent Hiv / aids. It only lowers the risk of infection. Several studies have shown that male circumcision decreases man’s risk by up to 60%. These findings led the government to begin a campaign to provide free male circumcision facilities.
When a man has intercourse, the penis gets micro-cuts from friction. Generally, in this way, HIV reaches a man’s body. The foreskin has millions of CD4 receptors, the sort of white blood cells that HIV has on it.
10. HIV is spread by kissing
HIV does not spread by saliva. It is not possible to spread the virus by kissing the cheeks or lips.
It is also extremely unlikely that a human can contract or transfer HIV through open-mouth kissing. For this to happen, both people must have had large, open sores in their mouths through which blood could pass.
11. It is not possible to contract HIV from a needle
HIV can live for up to 42 days in the used needle. There’s no safe way to share the needles. An individual should use a fresh needle every time they inject a prescription or recreation medication.
They should also check that the tattooist uses fresh needles before he gets a tattoo.
12. You can have a baby if you’re HIV-positive
HIV-positive pregnant women can transfer the HIV on to their babies. It may happen during pregnancy, during childbirth in the vagina, or during breastfeeding. However, if a mother is given antiretroviral treatment during birth, has a C-section, and avoids breastfeeding, she may significantly reduce the risk of passing the infection on to her infant.
13. Other HIV-related infections are not preventable
People with HIV are vulnerable to what is known as opportunistic infections. That includes tuberculosis, influenza, septicemia (blood poisoning), candidiasis, herpes, cytomegalovirus, and certain HIV-associated cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Antiretroviral treatment can dramatically reduce the risk of developing these opportunistic infections by increasing your CD4 cells. Other infections with drugs can be prevented.
The Bottom Line
It is impossible to transmit AIDS or stage 3 HIV. However, it is possible to spread HIV under some circumstances. There are a variety of treatment options available to help prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. Anyone worried that they could or may be exposed to HIV may need to speak to a health care provider about testing.
By dispelling myths and facts about HIV/AIDS, more people will seek early diagnosis and treatment and lead a long, healthy life.