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Top 5 Myths About AIDS

AIDS is arguably the most feared disease in the world. AIDS was first observed in the middle of the 20th century. Nobody knows where it first originated, but it has now spread all around the world.

Much is being done by organizations around the world to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. But there are some myths about AIDS that make the fight against AIDS more difficult. Here are the top five myths about AIDS that we have identified.

Myth: HIV and AIDS are the same.
Reality: They are not. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus which infects a person. AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is a collection of diseases which occur as a consequence of HIV infection. AIDS is the last stage of HIV infection. Often, HIV infected people go years before developing AIDS.

Myth: If someone’s got AIDS, it means they have been sleeping around.
Reality: Even though sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting HIV, it is not the only way HIV spreads. Many people get AIDS even though they have a single partner, because of their partner’s misadventures. Also, HIV spreads by using needles infected with HIV virus. This can happen due to negligence in a third world hospital.

Myth: If you are HIV-positive, you are going to die soon.
Reality: People who get infected by HIV live for many years, sometimes decades. New medications for treating HIV and AIDS have prolonged life even more, and many people have led successful and happy lives after being diagnosed with HIV.

Myth: Children born to HIV-positive and AIDS-infected women also get infected.
Reality: This used to be true, but with new medications and techniques, a woman with HIV or AIDS can safely deliver a baby without risk of infection.

Myth: Condoms prevent HIV 100% of the time.
Reality: Although condoms highly reduce the risk of HIV transmission, they do not offer a 100% guarantee against it. You may get infected with HIV after having sex with an infected person even if a condom has been used. This risk is very small, but it exists. The best way to avoid HIV and AIDS is to have a single trusted partner, along with the use of condoms.

Along with the above myths about AIDS, many other myths exist. Here are some realities that bust those myths.

  • Being with an HIV or AIDS infected person, or eating, hugging, or shaking hands with them does not lead to transmission.
  • HIV and AIDS cannot be cured. Treatments only increase the length of an infected person’s life.
  • Oral sex can also lead to HIV and AIDS.
  • People of any age can get infected by HIV.
  • People of all sexual orientations—gay, heterosexual, and bisexual—can get HIV.
  • HIV and AIDS are a problem in developed countries as well, not just in third world countries.

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