Myth #: You Can Contract Hiv From Touching Someone Who Is Hiv
False. According to the Center for Disease Control, HIV can NOT be transmitted through air, water, saliva, sweat, tears, or sharing a toiletmeaning you cant catch it from breathing
the same air as an HIV-positive 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, its often transmitted through sex, when protection is not used, or through needle or syringe use. The virus can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, if the mother is not accessing antiretroviral medication. This is why it is so critical to ensure pregnant mothers living with HIV not only get tested, but can access and adhere to treatment throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
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. And with the introduction of new medication and treatment like PrEP and long-lasting injectables, the most-at-risk communities are able to further protect themselves from contracting HIV.
Hiv Prevalence In The Us
Currently, in the United States, an estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV out of a total population of about 331 million. That translates to an HIV prevalence of roughly 0.3%.
This doesn’t mean that wherever you go in the U.S., the risk will be the same. In dense urban populations, the risk of infection is greater, whether the infection is HIV or COVID-19. But other factors weigh in as well, not least of which include poverty and access to quality healthcare.
In richer communities, access to health insurance means that you are more likely to more likely get diagnosed, treated, and maintain an undetectable viral load if you get HIV. Without the same access to care, people who are poor are less likely to be diagnosed and more likely to infect others, increasing the HIV prevalence in their communities.
These dual dynamicspopulation density and povertyare reflected in prevalence rates that are not only higher in cities like New York and Washington, D.C. but also in parts of the country, like the South, where access to healthcare is poor. As a result, HIV prevalence rates are highest in the Northeast and the South , where both of these concerns are endemic.
The South is of special concern. Today, nearly half of all Americans without health insurance live in southern states. Not surprisingly, these states accounted for 51% of all new HIV infections in 2018.
|U.S. Cities With the Highest HIV Prevalence|
What Statistics Are Available In Canada To Inform Programming
There are two main types of numbers available, HIV estimates and HIV surveillance data .
HIV estimates are developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada through statistical modelling, using a variety of data sources. There are two main types of estimates:
- Prevalence estimates tell us how many people are living with HIV at a given point in time. They include estimates for the number of people who are undiagnosed and take into account the number of people with HIV who have died.
- Incidence estimates tell us how many people got HIV in a given year, including those who had not yet been diagnosed.
HIV surveillance data are published by the Public Health Agency of Canada and tell us how many people were diagnosed with HIV in a given year. This information does not tell us when they got HIV, just when the diagnosis was made. People may have had HIV for many years before diagnosis.
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If I Get Infected Fluid From An Hiv
No, HIV is not always passed on from someone living with HIV. There are lots of reasons why this is the case. For example, if the HIV-positive person is on effective treatment it will reduce the amount of HIV in their body. If a doctor confirms that the virus has reached undetectable levels it means there is no risk of passing it on.
If youre concerned that youve been exposed to HIV you may be eligible to take post-exposure prophylaxis , which stops the virus from becoming an infection. However its not available everywhere and has to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
Its really important to take a HIV test every time you think you have been at risk of HIV.
Myths About Hiv And Aids
- There are lots of myths around, but the facts of how you can get HIV, and how you can protect yourself, are very simple.
- One of the most common myths people living with HIV hear is that they can be cured. Theres no cure yet for HIV, but antiretroviral treatment works and will keep someone living with HIV healthy.
HIV can only be passed on from one person to another via the following bodily fluids:
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Myth #: People Living With Hiv Shouldnt Have Babies
Incorrect. When HIV-positive 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, 84% of HIV-positive pregnant women are receiving this life-saving treatment for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, a massive scale-up from 45% in 2010. We must continue to scale up prevention services to ensure that every child, everywhere is born HIV-free.
Risks And Side Effects
HIV medicines can sometimes cause side effects. Some side effects happen for a short time. Other side effects can cause long term health problems. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects you are having. Do not stop taking your medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may tell you tips to help you cope with the side effects. Your healthcare provider may also tell you to take different medicines.
- This page does not give the specific side effects and warnings for each HIV medicine.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects and warnings for the medicines you take.
- Check the FDA Web site to find more HIV medicine information.
It is important that you take your HIV medicines just as your healthcare provider tells you. Your medicines may not work if you skip a dose or do not stick to your schedule. Over time, you can get sick if you do not take your medicines as directed. Your HIV may become resistant to your medicines. This means your medicines could stop working and more HIV could build up in your body.
Here are some tips to help you remember when to take your HIV medicines.
- Use a schedule or planner.
- Set the alarm on your watch or phone.
- Use a pillbox to help you organize your pills.
- Ask a friend or family member to help you.
Chart to help you remember when to take your HIV medicine
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Myth #: Aids Is A Death Sentence
Not anymore. When AIDS was first discovered, there was no effective treatment availableand a diagnosis was ultimately considered a death sentence. Now, this is no longer true, thanks to the development of revolutionary treatment methods. Today, over 27 million people living with HIV are accessing treatment that allows them to live healthy, normal lives. Over the past two decades, the global rollout of treatment has saved nearly 17 million lives from AIDS-related deaths.
Sexual Intercourse With An Animal Will Avoid Or Cure Aids
In 2002, the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Johannesburg, South Africa, recorded beliefs amongst youths that sex with animals is a means to avoid AIDS or cure it if infected. As with “virgin cure” beliefs, there is no scientific evidence suggesting a sexual act can actually cure AIDS, and no plausible mechanism by which it could do so has ever been proposed. While the risk of contracting HIV via sex with animals is likely much lower than with humans due to HIV’s inability to infect animals, the practice of bestiality still has the ability to infect humans with other fatal zoonotic diseases.
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Origin Of Aids Through Humanmonkey Sexual Intercourse
While HIV is most likely a mutated form of simian immunodeficiency virus , a disease present only in chimpanzees and African monkeys, highly plausible explanations for the transfer of the disease between species exist not involving sexual intercourse. In particular, the African chimpanzees and monkeys which carry SIV are often hunted for food, and epidemiologists theorize that the disease may have appeared in humans after hunters came into blood-contact with monkeys infected with SIV that they had killed. The first known instance of HIV in a human was found in a person who died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1959, and a recent study dates the last common ancestor of HIV and SIV to between 1884 and 1914 by using a molecular clock approach.
How Hiv Infects The Body
HIV infects the immune system, causing progressive damage and eventually making it unable to fight off infections.
The virus attaches itself to immune system cells called CD4 lymphocyte cells, which protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs.
Once attached, it enters the CD4 cells and uses it to make thousands of copies of itself. These copies then leave the CD4 cells, killing them in the process.
This process continues until eventually the number of CD4 cells, also called your CD4 count, drops so low that your immune system stops working.
This process may take up to 10 years, during which time you’ll feel and appear well.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
How Are These Misconceptions Harmful
“All over the world, misconceptions persist around HIV and AIDS, increasing stigma and setting back efforts to prevent HIV and support people living with the virus. As a result, people around the world continue to contract HIV every day. In 2020, there were 1.5 million new HIV infections,” says Cassolato.
“Whilst we’ve made a lot of progress, HIV is spiking again among the most marginalised people. It is not a coincidence that HIV and AIDS disproportionately affect communities that are criminalised and marginalised, who often have the least power. This can increase their risk of contracting HIV and make them less likely to access effective testing, treatment and care if they do.”
By continuing to perpetuate myths around HIV and AIDS, it means people are less likely to get tested. So long as there is shame surrounding being HIV-positive, people will fear getting that diagnosis and do anything to avoid it. But by not getting tested, people who are HIV-positive and don’t know it, risk developing AIDS when left untreated. This can cause serious health complications and lead to death.
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Common Myths About Hiv/aids
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.
Were here to set the record straight and answer questions you may be wondering aboutor are too afraid to ask.
Here are seven of the most common myths about HIV/AIDSand the facts to counter them.
Hiv Always Leads To Aids
While there is no absolute cure for HIV, it can be managed with medication nowadays, preventing it from ever developing into AIDS. Those who are HIV-positive can greatly reduce, or even eradicate, their chances of spreading the virus.
Those who think they’ve been exposed to HIV can take post-exposure prophylaxis medicine within 72 hours of coming into contact with the virus to reduce their chance of becoming infected.
Those with a sexual partner who is HIV-positive can take PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. This combination of two drugs protects against HIV.
Those who test positive for HIV are closely monitored with regular blood tests before starting the treatment process.
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Myth : If Youre On Prep You Dont Need To Use Condoms
Pre-exposure prophylaxis helps protect people who might be at high risk for HIV through sex or injection drug use.
Taking PrEP medication as prescribed reduces the risk of contracting HIV through sexual contact by about 99% and reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% among people who inject drugs. PrEP does not decrease the risk of other STDs. So we must continue to advocate for both PrEP and the consistent and correct use of condoms, explains Dr. Goje.
Myth : Hiv Affects Childbirth And Fertility
HIV does not affect fertility and childbirth, especially for women who are receiving appropriate and adequate treatment. However, not taking medications while been pregnant can lead to mother-to-child transmission . Pregnant women who are living with HIV should continue treatment or medications as recommended. When a mothers viral load is undetectable, theres a less than 1% chance of infecting the baby, says Dr. Goje.
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In 2020 162 People Were First Known To Be Infected With Hiv In New Zealand This Represents A Decrease From 2019 Numbers And The Lowest Figure Since 2012
The latest HIV numbers out of the University of Otago AIDS Epidemiology Group are encouraging, despite some uncertainties around COVID-19 impacts on testing volumes. We can also see a decline among cases acquired in New Zealand, so it appears we remain on a path to ending local HIV transmission.
A total of 162 cases were notified for 2020 a decrease from the 212 reported in 2019 and 185 in 2018. Furthermore, the number of locally acquired infections, especially among men who have sex with men , has continued to decrease.
In 2020, 49 MSM were diagnosed with HIV and thought to have contracted the virus in New Zealand, a 15.5% decrease from 2019 numbers, and 50.5% decrease from the peak in 2016.
Among MSM, we have also seen a decline in the number of people diagnosed with high CD4 cell counts, indicating a recent infection. Seeing a reduction in this group of diagnoses gives us a good idea about the declining HIV incidence in Aotearoa.
We believe this means we are seeing the continued impact of local HIV prevention, like PrEP and condom use, and HIV testing efforts that allow for people to be diagnosed early and access medication to live healthy lives without the risk of passing HIV to their sexual partners . This is great news.
We once again have a sign that we are starting to halt the epidemic.
Myth : You Can Get Hiv From Sharing Cups And Utensils With Someone Who Is Living With The Virus
Not true. But you can get HIV when bodily fluids from an infected person enter your bloodstream. These fluids include:
- Vaginal fluid.
HIV can enter the blood through linings in the mouth, anus, penis and vagina or through broken skin.
You dont get HIV or AIDS from:
- Touching or hugging someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Using public bathrooms or swimming pools.
- Sharing cups, utensils or telephones with someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Insect bites.
- Donating blood.
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Representativeness And Limitations Of Data
HIV infection surveillance data represents confidential reports of HIV infection and AIDS diagnoses, though not all persons with an HIV infection. The distinction here is that HIV diagnosis data represent the earliest date of diagnosis reported to the ODH HIV/AIDS Surveillance Program. The earliest date reported may not be the earliest date an individual became aware of their HIV infection. Individuals may have previously tested anonymously or were diagnosed out-of-state prior to being confidentially tested and reported to Ohio. HIV infection surveillance data may underestimate the level of recently infected persons because some infected persons do not know they are infected as they have not sought testing or have sought testing but did not respond to learn their test results. Reporting of behavioral risk information may not be complete as some persons diagnosed with an HIV infection may be reluctant to disclose their sexual and drug use history.