The HIV Phenomenon: Facts and Myths

Image result for hiv

It comes to no surprise nowadays that more and more newborn diseases are popping up left and right. As new diseases are born, doctors are already struggling to properly cite out their symptoms and origins, let alone find a cure. But one mustn’t forget perhaps one of the more infamous disease that has spread across the globe for years now and is still going strong; this disease or pandemic is none other than the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or more commonly known as “HIV”.

Before we delve deeper to the HIV disease however, let me ask you a question: how much do you know about HIV? Do you agree that it is life threatening or just a dud? Are you diagnosed with it or not? It’s easy for us to ignore life threatening diseases like HIV because we are not diagnosed with it or we may not know enough information about the disease to actually care about it, when in fact that HIV is one of lethal diseases that can cause AIDS and can destroy a person’s immune system, causing the body cells to weaken in defending organisms that can cause diseases. So in order to make this more interesting, let’s focus on the HIV disease, on a different perspective; let’s try and analyze which among the information about HIV is a fact or simply a myth.

First things first, a known fact of HIV is that it is linked to another infamous disease which is the “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” or more commonly known as “AIDS”. However, while the HIV is claimed to be a widespread disease and can infect others just by being around those who are HIV-positive, the HIV will not spread through touch, tears, seat or saliva, as well as breathing the same air as someone who is HIV-positive, hugging (kissing or shaking hands) with someone who is HIV-positive and even sharing eating utensils with them. You can be diagnosed with HIV through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid or from drinking mother’s milk (breastfeeding). While people believe that new drugs and other medicines will keep them safe from being diagnosed with HIV, it is indeed a fact however, Antiretroviral drugs (or drugs made specifically to counter HIV)  are expensive and have serious side effects to users, which is why even those who are diagnosed with HIV tend to look for more convenient and cheaper medical treatment. Antiretroviral drugs however, helps those who are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS to live much longer lives and is one of the main reasons why the death toll has seemingly dwindled over the last few years. The last important information that people tend to believe is that HIV can’t be transmitted via sex or oral sex, this is actually wrong. While oral sex is less risky, having oral sex with either a man or a woman who is HIV-positive can get you infected with the disease itself, this is why people often use a latex barrier or a condom whenever they partake in oral sex, to avoid transmitting HIV through one another.

Most of the time, it’s always best to learn the facts and myths about a disease to truly be prepared mentally and physically. Information nowadays tend to get bigger, wider and trickier which can lead to many people underestimating or overestimating the capabilities of HIV. As you venture on to the outside world once again, use this blog as the first step to living a healthy life and to avoid being diagnosed with HIV. Good luck and enjoy life to the fullest!

Sources (Retrieved December 14, 2016):

https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/what-is-hiv-aids

http://www.gsp-kc.org/hivmyths-vs-facts-2/

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