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10 HIV/AIDS Myths and Facts

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
 
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10 Myths and facts on HIV/AIDS
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HIV and AIDS myths can be dangerous, cautioned About.com. Here are ten HIV- and AIDS-related myths.

Myth:
HIV and AIDS are the same.

Fact:
HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS. Someone is said to have AIDS when their CD4 count drops below 200 or when they have certain infections or cancers, reported WomensHealth.gov.

Myth:
HIV/AIDS is a gay disease.

Fact:
Anyone can be susceptible to HIV/AIDS, regardless of their sexual orientation, stated MedicineNet.com.

Myth:
People over 50 don't get HIV and AIDS.

Fact:
People over 50 make up a rapidly growing segment of the HIV and AIDS population, wrote About.com.

Myth:
Women can't give men HIV.

Fact:
It's much harder for men to get HIV from women, but it does happen. HIV can enter at the opening of the tip and through cuts or sores on the shaft of the penis, said WomensHealth.gov.

Meanwhile, women are at higher risk of getting HIV from men. HIV is in semen, which can stay in the vagina for days making exposure time after sex longer.

Myth:
HIV is a contagious disease.

Fact:
HIV is not transmitted through saliva, sneezes, or sweat, wrote the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). Casual contact doesn’t transmit the virus. MedicineNet.com said that HIV is transmitted through contact with an HIV-positive person's infected body fluids, such as semen, pre-ejaculate fluid, vaginal fluids, blood, or breast milk.

Myth:
We both have HIV and AIDS so we don't need a condom.

Fact:
You still need to practice safer sex. There are different strains of HIV, wrote WomensHealth.gov, and someone could become infected with a different type from what they already have.

Myth: Since I only have oral sex, I'm not at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Fact:
You can get HIV by having oral sex with men or women, said MedicineNet.com. Always use a latex barrier during oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Myth:

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide (as of 2012). As of 2012, approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally.

May 24, 2014 - 8:24am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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