Myths About HIV/AIDS part 2
Published: August 22, 2013
In part one we told you a few common myths about HIV/AIDS, and we defined what HIV/AIDs is. Today we’re going to break down these myths one by one.
Myth: 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.).
Fact: HIV is not spread through saliva, touch, tears, or sweat. You don’t have to wash your hands after shaking someone’s hand that is HIV-positive. You cannot get HIV from being coughed or sneezed on.
Myth: I can get HIV from mosquitos.
Fact: Bug bites will not spread the virus. When insects bite, they may take blood from you, but they do not inject the blood of a previous person or animal they’ve bitten.
Myth: You can’t get HIV from oral sex.
Fact: The three ways HIV can spread are through sexual contact, blood (through transfusions or needle sharing), or from a mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or nursing. Oral sex, although less risky, still can spread the virus.
Myth: I could tell if I or my partner had HIV.
Fact: Some people go for up to 10 years without noticing any symptoms. Or they may have flu like symptoms that don’t seem too unusual. So to say you would know if you had HIV is false. You should get tested to know for sure.
Myth: I don’t need to worry about becoming HIV-positive—the new drugs will keep me well.
Fact: There is no cure for AIDS and no vaccine to prevent it. Thankfully with the advancement of medicine, people living with HIV can take medication that will manage the virus and its symptoms much better, and HIV is no longer a death sentence. But the new drugs can produce serious side effects and may not work forever.
Remember, if you have any questions about HIV/AIDs or begin noticing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Type your zip code into the clinic finder on our home page for the nearest HIV testing location.
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.