When AIDS first made headlines back in the 1980s, there was plenty
of misinformation surrounding the newly-discovered disease.
Today, despite all of the information made available about HIV/AIDS,
there are still so many common misconceptions floating around.
We’re here to set the record straight and answer questions you may
be wondering about—or are too afraid to ask.
Here are six of the most common myths about HIV/AIDS—and the
facts to counter them.
Want living proof? Meet Connie.
#5: ENDING AIDS IS
BEYOND OUR CONTROL.
#3: AIDS IS A
#1: HIV/AIDS IS NO
LONGER A CRISIS
False. According to the Center for Disease Control, HIV can NOT be transmitted through air, water, saliva, sweat, tears or sharing a toilet—meaning you can’t catch it from breathing the same air as an HIV+ person, or hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
The virus can only be transmitted through certain body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, or breast milk. Therefore, it’s often transmitted through sex, when protection is not used, and needle or syringe use. The virus can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, if the mother is not accessing antiretroviral medication.
In instances of sex between an HIV-positive and an HIV-negative partner, condoms are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. When condoms are paired with antiretroviral medication, they provide even more protection.
Not anymore. When AIDS was first discovered, there was
no effective treatment available—and a diagnosis was ultimately considered a death sentence. Now, this is no longer true, thanks to the development of revolutionary treatment methods. Today, nearly 23 million people living with HIV are accessing treatment that allows them to live healthy, normal lives.
False. When HIV+ pregnant women adhere to life-saving HIV treatment throughout their pregnancy and during breastfeeding, they can give birth to HIV-free children.
Ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV is a crucial piece to ending AIDS as an epidemic by 2030. Worldwide, 82% of HIV-positive pregnant women are receiving this
life-saving treatment for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, an increase of more than 90% since 2010. We must continue to scale up prevention services to ensure that every child, everywhere is born HIV free.
100% false. The power to end AIDS is in our hands—
and you can start just by buying (RED). With every (RED) product or action you take, you can be a powerful force in the fight to end AIDS.
This October, The Global Fund will host their sixth Replenishment conference in France, the second-largest donor to the Fund. There, they will ask government and corporate leaders and private donors to come together and help save 16 million lives over the next 3 years by meeting their funding goal of US $14 billion. This can help keep the world on track to ending AIDS as an epidemic by 2030. Now more than ever, with every action you take or (RED) product you buy, you play a key role in the fight to end AIDS.
You may have seen recently in the news that the second patient ever was seemingly cured of HIV through a clinical trial. While this exciting progress signifies new innovations and advancements in the AIDS fight, health experts
caution that this treatment is considered very risky and
is not yet scalable.
Though there is no proven cure for HIV, current antiretroviral medications allow HIV+ people to live healthy lives with roughly the same life expectancy as those who are HIV free.
You might not see HIV/AIDS on the news every day like it once was back when the disease was first discovered—
but the crisis is far from over.
Roughly 3 new people are infected with HIV every minute, and this year, nearly 800,000 people will die of AIDS-related illnesses. These numbers should be front page news.
Yes, the world has come a long way in the fight against AIDS, but unless we act now, all the progress we’ve gained is in incredibly jeopardy. We know how to end this disease once and for all—and we need your help in doing it.
#2: YOU CAN CONTRACT HIV
FROM TOUCHING SOMEONE
WHO IS HIV+.
#4: PEOPLE LIVING
WITH HIV SHOULDN'T
#6: THERE IS A CURE