Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global public health problem that has had 35 million lives so far, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Last year almost a million people around the world died of the causes associated with this virus.
About 37 million people wear it – 70% live in Africa – and 1.8 million contracted in 2017.
The disease of AIDS is diagnosed only with those infected with HIV.
Since it began to spread in the 80s, all sorts of insane ideas about how it is transmitted and how it faced support the prejudice and stigma of those who have to live with this virus.
On World AIDS Day, BBC World disassociates some of these myths.
1. If I'm near people with HIV, I can get infected
This flaw has led to discrimination against those who have long-lasting HIV and despite all awareness-raising campaigns, 20% of Britons still believe in 2016 that this virus may have been through skin contact or slime from someone wearing it.
However, HIV Do not pass by contact, tears, sweat, saliva or urine.
- Breathe the same air.
- Hug, kiss or squeeze your arms.
- Share the cutlery.
- Share the water source.
- Share personal items
- Use the same machines or exercise equipment in the gym.
- Use the same toilet or door handle.
HIV spreads if it is replaces fluids such as blood, seeds, vaginal fluids, and mother's milk with virus carriers.
There are alternative drugs for HIV
Absolutely false. Alternative drugs like showering after sex or have them with some virgin they do not act against HIV.
Myth about "virgin cleaning", rooted in sub-Saharan Africa, parts of India and Thailand, is particularly dangerous.
It encouraged rape of young girls and even babies, putting them at risk of HIV infection.
It is believed that this fallacy was born in the European sixteenth century, when syphilis and gonorrhea spread. It also does not work with these diseases.
Prayers and religious rituals can help people deal with difficult situations, but at the medical level they have no influence on the virus.
3. Mosquitoes can transmit HIV
Although HIV spreads through the blood, several studies have shown that the virus is not transmitted through bites or insects that shed blood for two reasons:
1) When you bite, do not inject the blood of a person or animal that they have previously thrown away.
2) Only HIV Survive for a very short time within these insects.
Thus, even if there are many mosquitoes and a high prevalence of HIV in one area, both factors are not interrelated.
4. I'm not infected with oral sex
It is true that oral sex is less risky than other types of sexual acts. The infection rate is below four cases every 10,000 times.
but it is possible to get a virus with oral sex with a man or woman who wears it, so doctors also recommend using a condom to practice it.
5. If I use a condom, I do not understand
Condoms can not avoid exposure to HIV if during sexual intercourse they cover, fall or miss.
That is why successful AIDS campaigns are one that not only focuses on encouraging people to use condoms, but also to get tested and receive treatment immediately if the test is positive.
According to WHO, One in four people with HIV does not know they have them, which means there are 9.4 million that represent a high risk of infection.
6. If I have no symptoms, I do not have a virus
One can live 10 or 15 years with HIV without any symptomsIn the first weeks after infection you can also feel the type of flu involving fever, headache, rash or throat inflammation.
Other symptoms may occur because the infection weakens the immune system: swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea and cough.
Without treatment you can also develop serious illnesses like tuberculosis. Cryptococcal meningitis. severe bacterial infections and cancer such as lymphomas or Kaposi's sarcoma, among others.
7. Those with HIV dying
Those who know they have HIV and continue treatment have more and more healthy life.
The United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) says it is 47% of those living with HIV have a suppressed viral load, i.e. the amount of virus present in your blood is so small that it is not detected in a normal analytical form.
Those people they can not pass the virus to otherseven through sexuality.
However, if not treated, HIV levels may rise again and be detected.
According to the WHO, 21.7 million people living with the virus received antiretroviral treatment in 2017 – in 2010 there were only eight million – which is about 78% of HIV-positive patients who know the diagnosis.
8. The mother of HIV will always give it to her children
Not necessarily Mothers who are suppressed with viral load may have progeny without HIV transmission.