Men, it truly is formally December (I know, I know, where by in the f*ck did the year go?). And ICYMI: It is also AIDS Consciousness Month—a thirty day period dedicated to raising recognition and commemorating individuals who have died from AIDS.
Even in the year 2019, a lot of persons still don’t know a great deal about HIV and AIDS aside from the fact that Bohemian Rhapsody singer, Freddie Mercury, died just about four decades right after his AIDS analysis, and Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness not too long ago unveiled he is HIV optimistic in his memoir, Around the Major.
However, there is certainly still a huge stigma close to both equally HIV and AIDS, and extremely inaccurate myths about what it appears to be like like and how it is really dealt with. In this article, our two industry experts, main LGBTQ+ professional, Kryss Shane, LMSW, and OBGYN Heather Bartos, MD, debunk the myths that are generally linked with HIV and AIDS.
1. You can deal HIV from sitting down on the exact same rest room seat as or sharing a soda with somebody who has it.
“HIV is a virus that is most commonly transmitted via blood, which is how men and women get it by blood transfusions,” suggests Dr. Bartos. It can also be transmitted by way of soiled needles, or needle sharing in standard. When sexually active, HIV is transmitted as a result of unprotected anal or vaginal sexual intercourse. And the virus can also be transmitted through being pregnant. AKA, HIV is not transmitted through sharing eyeglasses, or plates, or bites of chicken nuggets, or other casual speak to, suggests Dr. Bartos.
2. Contracting HIV is a gamble you are unable to safeguard by yourself from.
Only 54 per cent of females would be intrigued in talking about HIV prevention with their physician, according to Nurx—an app that prescribes shipping and delivery beginning handle, PrEP for HIV prevention, unexpected emergency contraception, and residence STI screenings. But preventative procedures to shield oneself from contracting HIV in the first spot are tremendous uncomplicated, and should be discussed.
Like, 1st of all, use condoms. Condoms assistance reduce the transmission of HIV from one particular individual to another—so, obvi wrapping it up can enable be certain you are protected. Up coming, if you’re sexually lively with far more than a single companion, “Using something like PrEP, which are pre-exposure prophylaxis medicine, will decrease your chance of contracting the virus and decrease threats,” Shane suggests. When taken daily, PrEP is a genuine match changer, contemplating it can be additional than 99 per cent successful in stopping HIV transmission.
And BTW, if you might be interested in acquiring a tattoo, make sure you might be only finding tatted at a accredited tattoo shop.
3. You’re only at possibility for HIV if you are gay, transgender, or African American.
“HIV is about publicity danger and behaviors, not a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or race,” states Shane. Despite the fact that it begun predominantly in the gay group and was labeled a “gay sickness,” we know which is not accurate suggests Dr. Bartos. “A lot of ladies contract the ailment by means of sexual exercise, inspite of their race or sexual orientation.”
4. When you get examined for STIs, you don’t have to have to be analyzed for HIV much too.
Dr. Bartos recommends an HIV check yearly if you might be sleeping with a number of people today. “And keep in mind: It will take a although for the virus to show up in your blood, so if you think you’ve been exposed, get examined, and then analyzed once again in a handful of months,” she suggests.
5. If you have HIV, you will have AIDS also.
“HIV is the virus that brings about the disease AIDS, but it does not necessarily mean that just since you carry HIV, you’ll routinely have AIDS,” states Dr. Bartos. Peep Magic Johnson, for instance: The basketball player has been living for decades with HIV with out it progressing to AIDS. Many thanks to new and ever-advancing study and medicines, this is also the situation for a lot of other folks residing with HIV.
In fact, although there is no definitive cure for HIV nonetheless, making use of remedies can lower the virus so considerably that it can grow to be untransmittable. (FYI, this is what the Avoidance Entry Campaign means when they say “U=U”, or undetectable = untransmittable.) “As a final result, men and women with HIV can live a life as whole of romantic and sexual partners as everyone else who is HIV detrimental,” suggests Shane.
6. Individuals die from HIV/AIDS.
Okay, for a single: You you should not die from HIV or AIDS, interval. All those who are impacted by the ailment could probably die from its affiliated conditions (pneumonia, meningitis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and so on.) mainly because their immune devices are weak, claims Dr. Bartos. “HIV destroys the CD4 T lymphocytes of the immune procedure, leaving the entire body susceptible to daily life-threatening bacterial infections and cancers,” claims Dr. Bartos.
Freddie Mercury, for instance, died from pneumonia, which was AIDS-triggered and induced by HIV But it was not AIDS iself that finished his lifetime. Thanks to medication and a lot more analysis, numerous persons with HIV stay as extended of a life as people without having HIV, adds Shane.
7. You shouldn’t get expecting if you have HIV.
Bogus information. “You can get pregnant and have a infant when you have HIV. In truth, with medication, the transmission charge to a new child is less than 2 per cent. Having said that, you shouldn’t breastfeed with HIV,” claims Dr. Bartos.
8. An individual with HIV or AIDS is filthy.
FWIW: HIV is not a “dirty person” condition. “A person with HIV or AIDS is no diverse than an individual with diabetes or large cholesterol,” states Shane. “These are all professional medical disorders that can be simply taken care of with proper clinical intervention and ongoing care. The concept that a human being is filthy furthers stigma and harms society.”
9. No one will at any time have intercourse with you if you happen to be HIV optimistic.
“Remaining positive implies almost nothing extra than the fact that you need to be aware of your wellness and follow healthcare assistance. It claims nothing about what form of person you are, what your value is to many others, or how considerably really like you are entitled to or will have in your existence,” suggests Shane.
10. If you deal HIV or AIDS, these in your lifetime will halt loving you.
“Having HIV may well adjust your professional medical wellness and the frequency in which you see your medical professional, but it doesn’t improve who you are or why you make a difference. Folks who love you will however love you due to the fact you are no considerably less deserving than you were being before screening favourable,” claims Shane.
And keep in mind: Just since December is AIDS Awareness Thirty day period, it would not indicate we ought to end owning these discussions all yr very long. It is usually a great time to speak about the misconceptions and conclude the stigma for good.