Friday, October 14, 2016

HIV/AIDS - 101 For Dummies

There is a lot of talk about HIV/AIDS, and for good reason. Awareness is the key to reducing the growth and further damage done by the Virus. Nonetheless, not all things spoken about it are true.

Did you know that 75% of the people infected with HIV go colour-blind? No, because it isn’t a fact! Sorry about pulling that one on you, but let’s see some more (less ridiculous) myths surrounding the subject!

HIV/AIDS | Bonafide Urban Chick
HIV is the same as AIDS

No, HIV or Human Immune-deficiency Virus is the virus that infects the person who comes in contact with it. Whereas, AIDS or Acute Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is its long term effect. Not everyone who is HIV positive will go on to be an AIDS patient. Thanks to modern medicines, the mutation and impact of the virus can be curbed to a great extent.

Men are more prone to AIDS

This was a considered a valid point for some period of time due to the fact that men, more openly, used to indulge in casual sexcapades. Nonetheless, with women being equally sexually liberated, now women have a higher susceptibility to contracting the virus. This is mostly because the woman’s sexual organ is more open to any infection entering the body, as compared to men.

AIDS is a Homosexual-Centric Disease

On the contrary, HIV and AIDS has been detected more in heterosexuals. Nonetheless, HIV does not discriminate between sexual orientation. If you are having casual sex with multiple partners, you have a chance to contract the disease.

HIV can be cured

NO! Despite the in-depth medical research, there is still no cure for HIV. Nonetheless, the good people researching have found drugs that help keep the mutation of the virus to the bare minimum which allow the patient to lead a normal and fulfilling life. There is a chance that the occurrence of AIDS is then kept to the very later stages of life.

HIV Symptoms show up immediately

There is no certainty as to when the signs of HIV will surface. The time can range up to 10 years before the symptoms show on the patients. Hence, it is essential that if one is indulging in sex with multiple partners one must get themselves tested for HIV at regular intervals and also discuss it with new partners before “jumping into bed” with them.

If both partners have HIV, one doesn’t need to have safe sex

While it seems like a very logical statement, it is important to know that the HIV is a mutating virus and one can get repeatedly infected with different strains that mutate in the system further. So, yes, even if you and your partner both have HIV, it is essential to use a latex barrier.

There is a Vaccination to avoid getting HIV

Gosh NO! Despite repeated efforts, medical scientists have still not succeeded in formulating a vaccination to avoid HIV. The most certain way to keep HIV at bay would be to not have sex. But that doesn’t seem like the most practical option, right? So then it is advisable to use barriers during sex and communicate with your partner before you indulge in the act.

Condoms can avoid HIV completely

Just like pregnancy, condoms are effective at avoiding the contraction of HIV only about 80% of the times. Yes, this is not a very pleasing figure. Hence it is essential that whether you are using a barrier or not, you discuss HIV with your partner before indulging in sexual activity with them.

I won’t get HIV with Oral Sex

Chances are slim, but still present. Because HIV can be transmitted through blood and bodily fluids, if one indulges in oral sex with an HIV patient, one does have a chance of contracting the disease if they have any gum bleeding, open wounds or ulcers in their mouth. Hence, when indulging in Oral sex with and HIV patient, always use a barrier.

HIV/AIDS is something that we all need to collectively know more about. While the biggest hurdle is that fact that we have still been unable to find a cure, knowing that there are drugs that can help those who are already infected is a breath of fresh air.