Dispel Myths: Here Are 5 Misinformation About HIV/AIDS

Taking the contraceptive pill would prevent you from contracting HIV, which in turn can (also) be transmitted by a simple kiss. Prejudice and false information persist and even grow for several years, as evidenced by a recent survey conducted before Sidaction’s weekend. The opportunity to go back to the main preconceived ideas that are still circulating and to disprove them (once and for all).

AIDS is gone

FALSE. For several years less present in the media, AIDS is (unfortunately) still present. If treatments enable people with HIV to ‘live better’, they do not heal. Similarly, scientific advances have also lowered the death rate, but according to data published by the World Health Organization (WHO), 690,000 people worldwide died from AIDS-related diseases in 2019. In the latest Ifop survey, Sidaction also reveals that approximately 38 million people are living with HIV worldwide and that 1.7 million people were infected in 2020.

HIV and AIDS are the same

FALSE. There is a difference between HIV infection and AIDS. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), without treatment, may be responsible for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the most advanced stage of HIV infection. In other words, a person with AIDS is necessarily infected with HIV, while the opposite is not true. An HIV-infected person does not necessarily develop AIDS; hence the importance of treatments.

A person with HIV who is being treated can transmit the virus

FALSE. If the condom remains essential to avoid any risk of transmission, a person who “antiretroviral treatment every day as prescribed and [atteignant] and [maintenant] an undetectable viral load has no risk of transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner”, recalls AIDS Info Service. This is the famous “I = I”, namely Undetectable = Intransmissible.

Taking an oral contraceptive prevents HIV infection

FALSE. If the condom and the pill both prevent an unwanted pregnancy, they don’t have the same power when it comes to HIV transmission. Placed correctly and used properly, the first effectively allows to prevent the transmission of HIV, while the second is absolutely not a means of prevention.

HIV can be transmitted by kissing

FALSE. Misunderstandings about the mode of transmission persist despite the numerous information campaigns on the subject. HIV is not transmitted through kissing, mosquito bites, using public toilets, or drinking from someone who is HIV positive. Simply put, it is not a contagious disease, so no transmission through saliva, coughing or perspiration. “HIV is usually transmitted during unprotected intercourse if there is vaginal or anal penetration, (…) through significant contact with contaminated blood when sharing injection equipment or in the event of an accident.” Exhibition (for health care providers)’remembers Health France.

(ETX Daily Up)

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