2018 is coming to an end but we’re still not where we should have been when it comes to understanding certain issues. Today we’ll talk about AIDS and HIV. Talking about it is usually tabooed or frowned upon, and when done, it’s only talked in hush tones. There are so many misconceptions when it comes to contracting the disease through an HIV positive person. These misconceptions cause a lot of bad and mean behaviour, sometimes leading to outcasting these people. It’s time we discuss this issue openly and debunk the myths around it. Let’s first understand how one can not get HIV from someone else.
Many people assume that sharing water with an HIV positive person could mean danger. That’s not the truth as HIV cannot survive in water. So, you are safe by sharing water, swimming pools, washing clothes with an infected person.
Food And Utensils
Same goes for sharing food and utensils. You don’t have to worry one bit even if the person preparing your food is HIV positive and it cannot be passed through food or utensils.
This is an age-old myth which needs to be busted. HIV does not survive outside the body. You’re free to touch, hug and shake hands with an HIV affected person.
Sweat And Urine
This becomes a little tricky. Since sweat, tears, urine and faeces are secreted from inside the body, many assume it could be carrying HIV. The truth is, HIV is not present in the sweat, tears, faeces and urine of a person and hence, cannot be transferred from one to another.
Sharing the same space with someone affected with HIV is not dangerous. HIV cannot be passed through the air, so the next time when an affected person coughs, sneezes or spits around you, you don’t need to worry about it.
Using the same toilet seat, furniture, door handle or any surface does not make you prone to HIV. This virus cannot survive on such surfaces.
Many believe that insects could carry HIV. Such as mosquitos for example; they only suck the blood out of us and not inject blood previously taken in.
There is only a very small chance of risk through oral sex only if you or your partner have a wound or bleeding in the mouth, gums or genital areas. Other than that is all safe.
The amount of HIV in the saliva of an infected person is extremely less and cannot be transferred through kissing.
So, now that we have debunked these myths, let us all behave a little more sensitively and responsibly when in contact with HIV positive people. There have been many instances of shaming such people and asking them to leave a certain space, because of fear of contracting the disease. HIV can only be passed through infected blood injection, organ transplant, unprotected sex, injecting drugs with an infected needle. or from a mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. If we openly talk about and discuss such topics and not try to hide or taboo them, we make this world a much simpler and better place to live in.
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