The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a global public health problem that has collected 35 million lives to date, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Only last year, about a million people around the world died for some cause related to this virus.
Approximately 37 million have it – 70% live in Africa – and 1.8 million people contracted in 2017.
AIDS illness is only diagnosed with those who have been infected with HIV.
Since this began to spread in the 80's, all sorts of unloving ideas about how it is transmitted and how they are suffering have fueled prejudices and stigmas about those who have to live with this virus.
On World AIDS Day, BBC World disassembles some of these myths.
1. If I am close to people with HIV, I can infect it
This misguided idea has caused discrimination against those who have HIV for a long time and, despite all awareness campaigns, 20% of the British still believed in 2016 that this virus could be passed through skin contact or saliva someone who carried it.
However, HIV It is not transmitted through touch, tears, sweat, saliva or urine.
– Breathe the same air.
– Hugs, kisses or a handshake.
– Share covered.
– Share a water source.
– Share personal objects.
– Use the same machines or accessories to do exercises in the gym.
– Use the same toilet or handle on the door.
HIV is contagious yes It exchanges fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal flows and breast milk with carriers of the virus.
2. There are alternative remedies for HIV
Absolutely false Alternative remedies like shower after sexual intercourse or having them with a virgin They do not act against HIV.
The myth of "cleaning up with a virgin," who took root in Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of India and Thailand, is especially dangerous.
It has encouraged the rape of small girls and even babies, putting them at risk of taking over HIV.
It is believed that this lie arose in the 16th century Europe, when syphilis and gonorrhea spread. Neither works with these diseases.
Religious prayers and rituals can help people deal with difficult situations, but at the medical level they have no effect on the virus.
3. Mosquitoes can transmit HIV
While HIV is spread through the blood, several studies show that the virus is not transmitted through bites or insects that suck blood for two reasons:
1) When they bite, Do not inject the blood of the person or animal they bite before.
2) HIV only Survive a very short period of time inside of these insects.
So, even if there are many mosquitoes in the area and a high prevalence of HIV, both factors are not related to each other.
4. I will not be entrusted through oral sex
It is true that oral sex is less risky than other types of sexual acts. The contagion rate is below those Four cases every 10,000 occasions.
but iIt is possible to get the virus having oral sex with a man or woman who carries it, so doctors also recommend using condoms to practice it.
5. If I use it, do not let me know
condoms They may fail at the time of avoiding exposure to HIV If they are broken, they are slipped or drilled during the sexual act.
That is why successful AIDS campaigns are those that not only focus on encouraging people to use condoms but also to Get tested and receive treatment immediately yes they give positive
According to WHO, One in four people with HIV does not know that he has it, This means that there are 9.4 million which represent a high risk of contagion.
6. If I have no symptoms, then I do not have the virus
A person can to live 10 or 15 years with HIV without presenting any symptoms. You may also experience a type of flu that includes fever, headache, erasure or sore throat in the first weeks after contagion.
7. Those who have HIV die young
Those who know they have HIV and continue to have treatment More and more healthy lives.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) says that i47% of those living with HIV have the suppressed viral loadThat is, the amount of the virus present in the blood is so small that it is not detected in a normal analysis.
these people they can not pass the virus to others, Not even through sex.
However, if they stop being treated, HIV levels may rise again and be detectable.
According to WHO, 21.7 million people living with the virus received antiretroviral treatment in 2017 – in 2010 they were only eight million – which accounts for about 78% of patients with HIV who know their diagnosis.
8. Mothers with HIV will always be infected with their children
Not necessarily Mothers who have suppressed viral load may have offspring without transmitting HIV.
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