Do you know that more than 36.7 million people are living with HIV globally as per the statistics at the end of the year 2015. On an average, 40,000 people get diagnosed with HIV each year in the U.S. These statistics give an indication that the rate at which the number of infected persons is growing each year, is alarming. Amidst all this, there are a lot of myths or misconceptions associated with HIV and AIDS which create panic amongst people. So here is an effort with the HIV/AIDS myths and facts video above to help debunk the misconceptions and raise awareness about the issue.
Most common questions regarding HIV/AIDS
1) How Can I avoid HIV?
Answer – HIV is spread through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, breast milk. You can reduce the risk of getting infected by HIV by using condoms correctly, limiting the number of sexual partners, avoiding the sharing of drug injection equipment.
Note: HIV is not spread through shaking hands, hugging, mosquito or insect bites.
2) I got diagnosed with HIV. Will I get AIDS?
Answer – AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. An HIV positive person can get AIDS when he or she has a CD4 cell count (infection fighting cells) below 200 or if he/she develops any specific, serious conditions, also known as AIDS-defining illness.
3) What are the symptoms of HIV?
Answer – Soon after getting infected with HIV, a person may experience fever, headache, rashes. The most severe symptoms of HIV include rapid weight loss, chronic diarrhoea etc.
4) Is there a cure for HIV or AIDS?
Answer – No, as of now, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, however, there are some medicines that fight HIV such as Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) which reduces the multiplication of HIV in the body and keep the immune system under control, hence prevents HIV infection from advancing to AIDS.
5) I am an HIV-positive woman, is my baby at risk of getting the virus?
Answer – Yes, a woman carrying the HIV virus can infect her baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. But there are some medicines which can reduce the risk of passing on the virus to the babies. Also, a woman infected with HIV should not breastfeed her baby.
6) Can I get HIV from kissing?
Answer – No, HIV cannot pass through saliva, so HIV through kissing is highly unlikely. HIV could be transmitted through direct blood-to-blood contact.
7) How long would it take for the HIV to advance to AIDS?
Answer – HIV can advance to AIDS if not treated. Though the time it takes to advance from HIV to AIDS varies, but it can take 10 years or more.
8) How long can I live with HIV/AIDS?
Answer – Taking medicines on time can make you live for years, maybe decades now, which was not a case earlier. In some of the cases, people have not become ill for 10 years even without taking any treatment.
We hope that the HIV/AIDS Myths and facts video above and the answers to some of the most common questions related to HIV and AIDS have given you a clear and better picture regarding the infection/disease. If you have any other question on mind regarding HIV infection or AIDS, feel free to ask us in the comments section.
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