Few HIV Myths busted.
Q. HIV is a death sentence.
A. Successful treatment of the virus can mean a long, normal life span. It’s key for people living with HIV to have access to quality care and start antiretroviral treatment immediately. Access to proper health care means extended life span, so no, it’s certainly not a death sentence.
Q. Stick to your treatment and take good care of your body. This can help you live a long life with HIV.
Q. HIV cannot be transmitted during oral sex.
A. HIV can be transmitted during oral sex. HIV can be passed on through sex when infected sexual fluids or blood enter the bloodstream of an HIV negative person. During oral sex this could potentially happen if the mouth, gums and/or throat of the person giving oral sex has cuts and sores or is inflamed or infected.
Q. Is it advisable to use condoms when engaging in oral sex when you have any cuts or sore?
A. Ideally one should not participate in sex when one has open cuts or sores as a condom doesn’t cover them; all it covers is your private part. Having said that a polyurethane condoms should be used for any sexual activity as they are better at protecting from sexually transmitted infections.
Q. Hugging, handshakes, sharing toilet seats and mosquito bites does not transmit HIV.
Q. If you are having unprotected sex or you are sharing your needles or injection equipments (tattoos, injection drugs, diabetic), you are putting yourself at a risk of HIV.
Q. Straight People Do Not Get HIV.
Q. HIV is transmitted by the sperm which means an infected man can produce an HIV positive baby.
A. The risk of a baby having HIV is only directly related to the HIV status of the mother, not the father. So if your partner is not HIV positive, this is how you can have an HIV negative baby.
Q. When a baby is conceived it is HIV-negative in the womb. The baby normally gets infected at the time of birth when the baby’s body fluids and the mother’s blood mix. The baby can only be infected if the mother has a sexually transmitted disease.
A. If a woman is infected with HIV, her risk of transmitting the virus to her baby is reduced if she stays as healthy as possible. According to the March of Dimes, new treatments can reduce the risk of a treated mother passing HIV to her baby to a 2 percent or less.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Sharmila Majumdar at the Sexual & Mental Health Clinic, Avis Hospital, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad