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Why don't you kiss HIV and another 7 myths about AIDS? BBC News



According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a global public health problem that currently has 35 million lives.

Last year alone, almost a million people worldwide died from a cause related to this virus.

Approximately 37 million people carry this – 70% live in Africa – and 1.8 million contracts in 2017,

AIDS disease is diagnosed only in those who have been infected with HIV.

Since it began to spread in the 1980s, all sorts of crazy ideas about how it is transmitted and how it suffered have harbored prejudices and stigmas for those who are forced to live with this virus.

On World AIDS Day, the BBC World dismantles some of these myths.

1. If I am close to people with HIV, I can become infected.

Researcher in the laboratory
A blood test is needed to detect HIV.

This misconception has led to discrimination against those who have had HIV for a long time, and despite all the information campaigns, 20% of Britons still believe that the virus can pass through skin contact or saliva from whoever wore.

However HIV it is not transmitted through contact, tears, sweat, saliva or urine,

Neither through:

  • Breathe the same air.
  • Hugs, kisses or a handshake.
  • Share your cutlery.
  • Share the water source.
  • Share of personal items
  • Use the same machines or accessories to do the exercises in the gym.
  • Use the same toilet or door handle.
Princess Diana with a patient with AIDS in a hospital in London in 1991.
In 1991, Princess Diana of Wales met with HIV-infected people in London to dispel these misconceptions about how she spreads.

HIV spreads if exchange of fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk with virus carriers.

2. There are alternative ways to treat HIV infection.

Absolutely wrong. Alternative Remedies shower after sex or have them with someone virgin they do not act against HIV.

Particularly dangerous is the myth of “cleansing a virgin,” which is rooted in sub-Saharan Africa, parts of India and Thailand.

He encourages the rape of young girls and even babies, putting them at risk for HIV.

It is believed that this lie originated in Europe, the XVI century, when syphilis and gonorrhea spread. It also does not work with these diseases.

3D illustration of a virus
HIV does not spread through contact, saliva, object sharing or mosquito bites.

Prayers and religious rituals can help people cope with difficult situations, but at the medical level they do not affect the virus.

3. Mosquitoes can transmit HIV.

Although HIV is spread through the blood, several studies show that the virus is not transmitted through bites or insects that suck blood for two reasons:

1) When they bite, they do not inject the blood of a person or animal that they bit before,

2) HIV only Survive a very short period of time inside these insects.

Thus, even if there are many mosquitoes and high HIV prevalence in the same area, both factors are not related to each other.

4. I do not get oral sex

It is true that oral sex is less risky than other types of sexual acts. Infection rate below four cases every 10,000 times,

Condom on banana.
Condoms help prevent infection and protect against other sexually transmitted diseases.

but can get a virus having oral sex with the man or woman who wears it, so doctors also recommend using condoms to practice it.

five, If I use a condom, I do not understand him

Condoms cannot avoid getting HIV if they break, slip or flow during intercourse.

This is why successful anti-AIDS campaigns are not only aimed at encouraging people to use condoms, but also get tested and get treatment immediately if they experience a positive result.

According to WHO, every fourth person with HIV does not know that he has itThis means that 9.4 million people are at high risk of infection.

6. If I have no symptoms, then I have no virus.

Human can live 10 or 15 years with HIV without any symptomsYou may also experience the flu, which includes a fever, headache, rash, or sore throat in the first weeks after infection.

Nurse draws blood.
Every fourth person who is HIV positive does not know.

Other symptoms may appear as the infection weakens the immune system: swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea and cough.

Without treatment, you can also develop serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, Cryptococcal meningitis, severe bacterial infections and raki such as lymphoma or Kaposi's sarcoma, among others.

7. Those with HIV die young

Those who know that they have HIV and continue treatment more and more healthy life,

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) says that 47% of people living with HIV suppress viral load, that is, the amount of virus present in your blood is so small that it is not detected in normal analytics.

These people they cannot pass on the virus to others, not even through the sexual route.

Mother with baby
Women with low HIV may have children without passing them on.

However, if left untreated, the level of HIV may rise again and be detectable.

According to the WHO, 21.7 million people living with the virus received antiretroviral treatment in 2017 – in 2010 there were only eight million, representing about 78% of HIV-positive patients who know their diagnosis.

8. Mothers with HIV will always pass them on to their children.

Not necessarily Mothers who have suppressed the viral load may have offspring without HIV transmission.


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