WORLD AIDS DAY: TOP 5 MYTHS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS #LetsEndIt
World AIDS Day Founded in 1988, was the first ever global health day, gives people worldwide an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died. World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st of December each year.
"It’s really important to always take a HIV test if you think you have been at risk of HIV."
HIV can only be passed on from person to person if infected body fluids (such as blood, semen, vaginal or anal secretions and breast milk) get into your bloodstream in these ways:
- unprotected sex
- from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- injecting drugs with a needle that has infected blood in it
- infected blood donations or organ transplants.
TOP 5 MYTHS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS
HUGS ARE WELCOME:
HIV can’t survive outside of the body so you won’t get HIV from touching someone, hugging them or shaking their hand.
HIV CAN'T SURVIVE IN WATER:
You won’t get HIV from swimming pools, baths, shower areas, washing clothes or from drinking water.
Most people diagnosed with HIV now are living normal life-expectancies
IT'S EASY TO TELL THE SYMPTOMS OF HIV:
The symptoms of HIV can differ from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all. Without treatment, the virus will get worse over time and damage your immune system. There are three stages of HIV infection with different possible effects.
IF I GET INFECTED FLUID FROM AN HIV-POSITIVE PERSON INTO MY BODY WILL I DEFINITELY GET HIV?
No, HIV is not always passed on from an infected person. There are lots of reasons why this is the case. For example, if the HIV-positive person is on treatment it will reduce the amount of HIV in their body meaning it is unlikely to be passed on.
If you’re concerned that you’ve taken an HIV risk you may be eligible to take post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which stops the virus from becoming an infection. However it’s not available everywhere and has to be taken within 72 hours to be effective.
Fear and Ignorance
Still Exist #LetsEndIt
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition.