Myths About HIV/AIDS part 1
Published: August 16, 2013
In earlier days, HIV/AIDs was seen as a death sentence because little was known about the disease. People didn’t know what caused it or its symptoms and sought help too little too late. These limitations have affected society’s perception of this virus. Even with the advancements made, people can still receive false information about the causes of HIV and AIDs.
Some myths associated with HIV/AIDs even today are:
- I can get HIV by being around people who are HIV-positive (or different variations like touching a toilet seat or door knob after people who are HIV-positive, kissing, sharing eating utensils, etc.).
- I can get HIV from mosquitos.
- You can’t get HIV from oral sex.
- I could tell if I or my partner had HIV.
- I don’t need to worry about becoming HIV-positive – new drugs will keep me well.
So let’s start by defining what HIV and AIDs are. HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks your immune system, specifically the white blood cells that fight infection. When HIV is introduced to your body, your white blood cells begin to decrease in number. This weakens your immune system, allowing other infections and viruses to enter your body easier. Without treatment, this process continues until your white blood cell count is dangerously low. Once you’ve reached this stage, HIV has progressed to AIDs or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
In part 2 of this post, we will discuss the symptoms of HIV/AIDs and answer some of the myths people hear about the virus. If you have any questions about HIV/AIDs, contact your doctor.
Getting routine shots from your doctor is never fun, but getting HPV is worse.
Protect yourself by getting vaccinated. The HPV Vaccine is cancer prevention. Ask your doctor about what you can do to stay safe, or call 865-215-5000 to schedule a vaccination appointment at the Health Department.