HIV/AIDS has no cure known to date and WHO recommends early treatment for patients to prevent spreading the disease. Several techniques were recently reported which treated few people; however, the effectiveness was as high as the danger it imposes. So if you were not aware of it, here are 15 myths and facts about HIV/AIDS.
Medicine may have evolved and progressed on the HIV conquest, but there is no vaccine or cure available yet for patients suffering from the disease.
HIV is not so "Last Century"
Most people believe that HIV was so last century, but they do not know that in 2011, there are 2.5 million new infections, 1.7 million who died from the disease and 34 million, currently alive, carrying the virus.
Centres Have Drugs for it
Antiretroviral drugs are available for HIV patients to reduce the suffering caused by the disease. But the fact is, not everyone can obtain the drugs, and it only suppresses the disease, not cure it. In addition, ARV drugs are not as effective in terms of age, since the body itself develops certain diseases related to aging.
HIV is "NOT" my Problem
HIV affects everyone, and it shares now the global demography between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Aside from men, women carrying HIV may transmit the virus to their children which represents around 13 per cent of the HIV-positive population - it is your problem, too.
We Already "KNOW" HIV/AIDS
Many claim they know what is HIV, and usually it means misconception about the disease. There are around 59 per cent of Americans with ages 13 to 24 who are suffering from HIV. Moreover, people believe that HIV can be transmitted through sharing a single glass of drink, touching a toilet seat or swimming with an HIV-positive person.
AIDS-Free Generation is Coming Soon
Science is aspired to make it a reality, but, so far, medicine has no specific way cure for the disease and is unable to treat those who already reached the latent stage. UNAIDS estimated more than 1.5 million people in 2020 will get HIV according to the prevalence of transmission and that number represents the United States only.
I Have HIV/AIDS, I am Going to Die!
This is the most common and biggest of all myths believed by HIV patients - death sentence. What they don't know is there are medications, treatment programs and better understanding of HIV/AIDS which can make their lives more productive.
Vaccine Should be Easy
HIV is not a simple virus, and medical experts are very challenged on its characteristics. Experts still believe that the effective vaccine is years or decades away.
HIV/AIDS is Curable!
Treatments such as stem cell and bone marrow transplant have been reported to treat HIV-positive individuals, but these procedures are not the cure for HIV. Using these medical treatments impose greater danger compared to drugs and could lead to instant death due irreversible complications.
Our Family Doctor can Treat it
If WHO and CDC cannot produce any cure or vaccine, do you expect a cure from a local physician? Only an HIV/AIDS expert should handle management and care of an HIV-positive individual due to the complexities of the drugs, genetics and other factors which may contradict the therapy.
Oral Sex Does Not Need Condoms
HIV can still be transmitted via oral sex, especially if the person has bleeding gums or oral sores. A successful entrance to the body may lead to a new infection. Condoms are not perfect, but it decreases transmission risk.
No More Kids
Even HIV-positive women can bear children, and some of them have families. Since there are hospitals which can provide care and management, people living with HIV may still achieve the families they dream about.
People over 50 are Immune to HIV
People with age 50 and older are now growing rapidly in the segment of HIV/AIDS population with a higher risk to develop complications due to aging.
HIV-Positive Partners Do Not Need Condoms Anymore
Re-infection and mutation can be risky for HIV-positive partners who are practicing unprotected sex. Two HIV patients may have two different strains and mixing them up would make treatment very difficult.
HIV is a Homo and a Drug Addict Disease
No matter what your sexual preference, occupation, age and race, HIV can still infect you as long as you are human. Risky behaviour and unhealthy lifestyle can increase your chance of getting HIV.
HIV and AIDS are the Same
No, they are not, but they are related to each another. HIV is the virus which attacks the immune system, making the body weak against other opportunistic infections, while AIDS is a collection of several illnesses caused by the weak immune system. AIDS is the latent stage of an HIV-positive individual which could lead to death.
To contact the editor, e-mail: