AIDS: Squash the Myths, Get the Facts!

If you have any questions about the AIDS virus, it’s best to get as much information as possible from a reliable source. Don’t make assumptions, or simply believe anything you hear on the street. Find out the facts, and then act based on truth.

Over a million Americans have been touched by this virus, and almost 33 million worldwide. The numbers are increasing. So much misinformation is out there, and the myths abound within the communities that are most affected, as well as in communities where AIDS is not as prominent. Here are a few popular myths about AIDS, and the facts about this virus to dispel those myths.

You can’t get AIDS through oral sex.

The fact is, any fluids that are infected may be transferred from partner to partner, through cuts, scrapes, or scratches on any body part, whether the contact is vaginal, anal, or oral. The risk of transference may be lower with oral sex, but it is still there, and must not be ignored.

AIDS is a gay or drug user disease.

Quite the contrary. AIDS is no respecter of persons. Homosexuality and drug use have been around for years, before the HIV virus which causes AIDS was discovered in 1985. People involved in a homosexual relationship and those who use/share needles are simply not the only groups of individuals susceptible to the AIDS virus. Frankly, heterosexual contact is the most common way the disease is spread!

HIV and AIDS are the same thing.

Actually, they are not. HIV is the virus that is transferred from person to person through the exchange of infected blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk. It breaks down the body’s immune system, so that the body is susceptible to other viruses and illnesses. AIDS is the deficiency caused by HIV.

You can catch AIDS from just being around people infected with the virus.

Not even breathing the same air or kissing an infected person on the cheek can make you catch AIDS from that person. Neither can shaking hands, sitting in the same seat an infected person sat in, or touching something they touched. The virus does not live that long outside the human body.

You can just tell if someone is infected.

Not true. Signs of infection may not even show up for ten years in someone who has been infected, and even then, you couldn’t tell the infection is AIDS just by looking at that person.

For some more factual information about this rapidly spreading disease, go to a few of these sites or contact your local health institution. Get the knowledge you need to take care of yourself.