The world hasn’t recovered from the shock we received from coronavirus last year. Scientists are still revealing fresh pieces of information regarding this disease from time to time. But people seem to have forgotten about specific syndromes that persist and contribute to thousands of deaths every year. AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome doesn’t have any cure right now. But it does have numerous misconceptions associated with it. Let’s unmask some lies about AIDS, shall we?
Debunking myths associated with AIDS
1.HIV and AIDS are the same
People can’t even differentiate between COVID-19, the virus, and SARS-CoV-2, the disease! So, we can spare them if they confuse HIV (the virus) with AIDS (the disease), or not! Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the severe stage of this sickness when your body loses more than 85% of CD4 cells. People who have AIDS are more prone to acquire opportunistic infections (OIs). HIV+ people shouldn’t develop AIDS, or they become incapable of fighting different ailments.
2.AIDS has ceased to be deadly
More than a million people around the world died from complications with AIDS in 2010. This death toll has decreased, no doubt, in recent years. But AIDS will remain a problem for humankind unless the world develops its cure. Medical experts regard this as one of the most common lies people still believe about AIDS. They think it used to a terrible syndrome a decade ago. Meanwhile, statistically speaking, hundreds of children get infected with this virus every day.
3.You’re safe if you don’t have STDs
Folks have also assumed that sex is safe unless your partner has an STD. Sexually transmitted diseases aren’t alone when we’re talking about vulnerability to AIDS. You need to watch out for your partner giving you STIs or sexually transmitted infections. Learn about STI vs STD as some of its common types include scabies, herpes, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. These infections allow this virus to quickly attack your cells and make you more likely to pass on AIDS.
4.AIDS patients don’t need protection
Some youngsters mistakenly believe that if both partners have AIDS, there’s no problem with unprotected sex. What can go wrong now that you already have AIDS? Well, negligence to use protection can elevate the chances of a partner contracting some other STD. These diseases – such as hepatitis B – can weaken your already-devastated immune system. Furthermore, a partner may receive a deadlier strain of this virus. This strain can be resistant to your current medications.
5.Heterosexuals can’t have AIDS
Homophobia has invented another myth about AIDS that it’s a gay-exclusive disease. Though homosexual men constitute the highest risk group for AIDS, homosexual women are less vulnerable. But straight people aren’t immune from this disease either since it spreads via blood/semen. That’s why CDC found in 2016 that heterosexuals accounted for one-fourth of all cases of AIDS. So, don’t believe in the “gay-only virus” stigma and be cautious about this disease.
6.You can’t live a normal life
You can live a normal and prolific life even with AIDS. However, people who don’t consume their prescriptions have a shorter lifespan. Queen’s vocalist Freddie got diagnosed with this disease in ’87 and released the Barcelona album in ’88. You don’t need to cut yourself off from the rest of the world. A patient can’t give AIDS to someone by touching or hugging. Moreover, you can’t have AIDS by kissing someone as saliva doesn’t transmit it like blood/semen.
7.You can’t have kids with AIDS
Yes, a mother may infect her unborn child with AIDS. This phenomenon is called “vertical transmission.” But the chances of your newborn being born with HIV are 25-33% and have been reduced to 1% via antiretroviral drugs. So, AIDS patients can still parent a child by implementing preventive measures against this disease. There exist alternative treatments that ‘wash’ the sperm before artificial insemination.
8.The solution lies in abstinence
Some people aren’t still clear about how AIDS spreads among the masses. They think only sexual activities make you susceptible to this syndrome. Some conservative families use this myth to preach the value of abstinence between youngsters. A person can still acquire this disease even if he/she refrains from intercourse. Many people become HIV-positive through substance abuse when they inject an unsterilized needle into their bodies or visit a tattoo parlor.
9.Tattoos and piercings are safe
Certain misconceptions related to this disease are racially motivated as well. Some researchers promoted the theory that AIDS originated in Africa when the first patient appeared in New York (1981). Other myths have a lack of rationality as their foundation. You can get AIDS from tools used by tattoo artists if they haven’t been sterilized. That’s why sharing a needle is dangerous. Whenever you come into contact with a shared needle, you become vulnerable to this disease.
People hadn’t developed a vaccine for coronavirus when they invented a bunch of myths about it. False information about COVID-19 misguided many people and prevented them from taking healthcare guidelines seriously. We can say the same about HIV/AIDS that makes more than 36 million people miserable worldwide. It would be best if you learned that AIDS isn’t a death sentence. You can still live a normal life while being HIV+. This disease can be fought with the right medicine and correct information.
This article cannot be re-published without permission.