There are estimated 37.6 million people infected with HIV around the globe today. HIV is a lentivirus—a subgroup of retrovirus—which disrupts the immune system. When HIV positive people aren’t treated properly, they may eventually suffer the more life-threatening AIDS.
Information about HIV has been shared widely today. However, some misconceptions about people with HIV remain, for instance, these five myths below. They’re called myths because they’ve been scientifically debunked.
1. HIV positive people will die
Well, everyone will. However, being an HIV positive person isn’t a life sentence. Even though there isn’t a cure for HIV found in the present day, there are treatments which keep the virus under control. With the treatments, people with HIV on their body can live long. Many HIV patients can prove this.
2. Living with them transmits the virus
HIV isn’t a flu virus which spreads through the air, so living with people with HIV is fine. HIV can’t live outside the body. You won’t be infected with HIV only by sharing a house with them.
HIV needs two things to transmit; those are a transmission fluid and port of entry. The transmission fluid meant here is blood, semen, breast milk, pre-ejaculate, or vaginal fluid. HIV doesn’t transmityinsects or dust, but fluid does.
The transmission occurs when the fluid belongs to HIV positive people enters the other’s body such as through mouth, vagina, vein, anus, or direct injection using a syringe.
3. Women with HIV can’t give born to a healthy baby
It’s true that HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her baby but with the current treatment available, it’s possible for women with HIV to have a healthy baby. The key is to do it right. Get a consultation with a doctor before doing a conception.
Before pregnancy, women with HIV must start the antiretroviral therapy (ART). The therapy continues during the pregnancy and until six weeks after giving birth. The main goal of the therapy is to lower the viral load or the concentration of HIV in the mother’s blood.
When the viral load is low, the risk of transmission from mother to the fetus is reduced. In the US, only 2 of 100 infants are born with HIV when the mother has a low viral load. After the baby is born, avoid breastfeeding.
4. People with HIV have unprotected sex and use drugs
Both unprotected sex and drugs using a shared syringe are common ways how HIV is transmitted. However, it doesn’t mean everyone infected with HIV has unprotected sex and used drugs. There are people who become HIV positive because of a transmission with their parents or accidental wound contact with HIV patients.
5. People with HIV can’t avoid other virus infection
As HIV disrupts the immune system, some people think that people with HIV can’t prevent other virus infection and disease. It isn’t true because HIV treatment can keep the patients’ immune system working. The body of HIV positive people can become stronger if they keep a healthy lifestyle as well.
Those are five myths about people with HIV which you should no longer believe.