There are many myths attached to HIV. Let’s see the facts behind it.
Myth 1- A healthy person can get HIV if he is around an HIV patient.
The HIV Virus requires body fluids to survive. The virus can spread only through Blood, Semen or breast milk. A healthy individual cannot get the disease if he comes in contact with the infected patient. One cannot get it by shaking hands, sharing food or hugging the patient.
Myth 2 – One can get HIV from mosquitoes.
You cannot get HIV if you have been bitten by mosquito who has already bitten a HIV patient. The reason that is that the virus is unable to replicate within the mosquito’s gut and therefore is broken down.
In humans, the virus binds to T cells and begins replicating. No T cells exist inside the mosquito’s gut and so the virus has no way of replicating or migrating to the mosquito’s salivary glands. During the digestion process, the virus particles are “completely destroyed”
Myth 3 – An HIV+ OR AIDS patient is easy to spot.
Symptoms differ from person to person. Since the virus breaks down in the immune system, the patient is prone to any kind of infection. Depending on the severity of the disease, the symptoms vary.
Myth 4 – A patient suffering from HIV will lead to Aids.
HIV can be stopped from progressing to AIDS if the patients has taken proper antiretroviral treatments. Patients can survive for years with HIV and can lead a healthy life if taking proper medication. Regular medication will prevent the HIV strain from affecting the resistance of the body. Every six months, HIV Viral load has to be done to check whether the virus is growing in the system.
Myth 5 – Only Homosexuals, sex workers and intravenous drug users can get HIV. We don’t need to worry.
The fact is that anyone can get HIV through faulty blood transfusion or infected needles but yes the above mentioned people are at a higher risk of getting HIV
Myth 6: The Drugs are so powerful that you can stop taking them after some time
Sometimes the medical treatment can be extremely agonizing for patients because the drugs are quite strong. But stopping the procedure will make the person vulnerable to the virus again which can then allow opportunistic infections to attack the body. It’s vital not to stop the medication procedure.
Myth 7: HIV+ pregnant mother will also have a HIV+ baby.
There is less than 2 % chance that the baby will be infected. If the mother is HIV+, then proper medication is started to prevent the baby from getting the infection. If the mother knows that she is HIV positive before she gets pregnant, then proper treatment can prevent the unborn to be infected with HIV. There are enough ways to protect the baby from being infected.
Myth 8: HIV can be cured.
There is no cure or vaccine for HIV but the treatments are available to keep the virus under control. Once you are HIV positive then lifelong medication and precautions have to be taken to keep the virus under check.
Myth 9: HIV is the same as AIDS
Aids & HIV is not the same. An HIV patient will have AIDS only if the virus has weakened the immune system to the extent that they either have, or are at unusually high risk of getting, certain diseases that are uncommon in people with a healthy immune system. It is important to know that not all HIV infected people develop AIDS. If proper treatment is taken then HIV patient can stop the progression of the disease.
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