According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 36.7 million people are suffering from AIDS across the globe and there have been many advancements and research around the condition as well.
Still, there have been misconceptions and wrong information being spread among the people due to lack of knowledge and awareness about HIV or AIDS. Therefore, today we shall replace the myths with the facts backed by credible organisations as well as science.
Myth 1: HIV is Equivalent to a Death Sentence
According to Hopkins Medicine, HIV is a serious condition to be diagnosed with but it is no longer a death sentence. With the advancement in the field of research and medicine, people can expect to have a normal lifespan inspite of suffering from HIV.
A person who undergoes antiretroviral therapy (ART) and takes his medicines on time can live a long life. Moreover, CDC reports have shown that the deaths due to HIV turning into AIDS has dropped down significantly.
Myth 2: Straight People do not Have to Worry About HIV/AIDS
It is true that maximum number of men suffering from HIV/AIDS have males as their sexual partners. Mostly gay and bisexual men get HIV but it does not mean that it cannot affect the straight people.
According to the CDC, 70 percent of the HIV cases account from the group of gay and bisexual men but the reports of 2016 suggest that 24% of the new HIV cases were that of heterosexual couples out of which two-third were women.
Myth 3: It is not Safe for HIV positive Women to Have Children
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women who are diagnosed with HIV can have children without any harm except that they can pass on the virus to their children while giving birth or breastfeeding.
It is advisable to consult your doctor before you plan your family. The doctor might give you medications to continue till after the birth of the baby for about 6 weeks, they can also suggest to have a C-section and feed your baby with a bottle instead of breastfeeding.
Myth 4: HIV Always Results in AIDS
According to the UK NHS, if HIV is not treated properly or left untreated can lead to AIDS but it does not mean that all HIV-positive patients will eventually have AIDS. AIDS is caused when the HIV virus keeps attacking the immune system regularly and leads to a weakened immune response and increase in opportunistic infections.
You can prevent AIDS by managing HIV and controlling it from weakening the immune system and diagnosis of infections.
Myth 5: You do not Need a Condom If You Take PrEP
According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, PrEP is a medicine given to people who do not have HIV but have a risk of being infected by the virus. The medicine in the bloodstream can prevent the spread of the virus and reduces the risk by 99%.
But it does not mean you are free to practice unprotected sex because condom protects you from the sexually transmitted diseases and infections which cannot be prevented even by the PrEP medicine.