Decades on since the first recorded cases of what would become known as HIV and AIDS, myths are still circulating about this condition. Here’s 11 of the weirdest that still persist.
1) That only gay men can get HIV
Are you living in the 80s? HIV does not see sexuality, it does not see gender, it does not see race or greed. Anyone who comes into contact with the virus could potential be infected.
2) HIV can be transmitted by kissing
HIV cannot be passed through saliva, so cannot be
3) HIV can be passed on by sharing a toothbrush
HIV cannot survive outside the human body, so it is unlikely you can pass on HIV through this method.
4) People with HIV will die young
There is no reason why someone who is living with HIV will die young because of the virus. Get tested, know your status and get the medication you need.
5) You will get HIV if you sleep with someone that has HIV
Not always the case. A lot depends on their viral load, whether they are on medication and how much exposure you have to their bodily fluids. So if you’re both using condoms, using PrEP and their viral load is low the likelihood of you contradicting HIV is near zero.
6) You can catch HIV?
Nope HIV isn’t a ball or frisbee.
7) You can get infected with HIV by sharing a bath with someone who has it.
HIV can not live outside the human body and bath water is pretty much deadly to the virus.
8) HIV and AIDS are the same thing.
Not true. HIV means that a person has the virus in their body. AIDS is when someone’s immune system is compromised so much that they can no longer fight off diseases.
9) HIV is a death sentence.
As long as you test, know your status and get manage your health in the right way, you can live a long, full life.
10) HIV is a bisexual disease
No matter what you heard on TV, there’s nothing to suggest that this is true. HIV doesn’t care if you’re gay, bisexual or straight.
11) Kids are learning about this stuff in Schools.
Sex ed is not compulsory in all schools in the UK.
The news team for THEGAYUK. Got tips? Go to www.thegayuk.com/newsdesk to tell us something.