29 July 2011

Hiv Aids Myths and Misconceptions

HIV/AIDS is one of the most feared diseases of our times. As it is, it has claimed millions of lives in the past few decades and continues to do so till date. Ignorance and unawareness are two major reasons for the growth of this dreaded disease.

Now, as if ignorance was not enough, some scrupulous people tend to add to the problem by way of spreading myths and rumors, about this issue. For quite some time, now, a number of myths and misconceptions have being doing the rounds. Some of the most common myths are as follows:

1. Myth : Only gays get infected with HIV. Straight guys are secure.
Reality : On the contrary, a majority of people infected with HIV all across the world are actually heterosexual. So, being heterosexual does in no way guarantee that you can never get infected. Nor does it increase the risk of getting infected with HIV.

2. Myth : HIV spreads through sweat, tears, mosquitoes, kissing or casual contact.         
Reality : No, HIV can spread only through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids and from a mother to her baby, during pregnancy, or through breast milk. So, you usually get infected by way of unprotected sex, sharing needles, as well as through transfusion with infected blood. In fact a majority of cases take place due to unprotected sex.

3. Myth : You can test negative, once you have tested positive.
Reality : This is not true; although, a number of retroviral drug therapies have become very popular in recent times. Many of these drugs are very much effective and have even reduced the HIV count in the blood to undetectable limits. However, it needs to be mentioned here, that, HIV is not just present in the blood; it is present in almost each and every part of the body. Therefore, once you have tested HIV positive, you have no chance of testing negative.

4. Myth : HIV does not cause AIDS.
Reality : In the last few years a new theory is doing the rounds, which says that, AIDS is not actually caused by HIV. This theory is absolutely absurd, especially when you do not have any valid scientific proof to justify this theory. In fact, recent studies have reconfirmed the involvement of HIV in AIDS. It is therefore; better to save yourself from HIV infection.

5. Myth : Having sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS.
Reality : This one of the most dangerous myths, which has led to further spread of this dreaded disease. As it is, this misconception has led to the rape of many young girls and children and has been a strong cause for further spread of this deadly virus.

HIV is an incurable disease till date and as it is, the only way to fight it, is to save yourself from getting infected. By spreading awareness we can actually curtail the spread of this menace. It is therefore, our responsibility to spread the message across to as many people as we can.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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