Though we now know more about AIDS and ways to control it than ever before, the killer virus is still shrouded in myth and misconception. Consider some of the myths that have become closely associated with AIDS over the years:
1. I found out that I have AIDS, which means that I will die.
Not so! With the advances in medical science, people live longer with AIDS today than ever before; and manage to have healthy, productive lives at that.
2. AIDS can be cured. This is the other end of the spectrum, when people believe unsubstantiated claims made about ‘miracle’ cures.
As of now, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but management is now better than ever, so long as a specialist in HIV care is in charge.
3. An AIDS vaccine should be easy. It is not easy and most experts believe that it is not possible to develop this for several years.
5. People with HIV/AIDS cannot have children. This is not so any more, and with some precautions, it is possible for people with the infection to become parents.
6. Senior citizens don’t get AIDS. Again not true – the over 50 demographic is as much at risk.
7. If both of the partners have AIDS, they don’t need to use condoms. Whereas the reason that condoms should be used even in this case is that there is the problem of re-infection that can make treatment more difficult, which is why condoms should be used.
8. AIDS happens only to gay men and drug users. This is a persistent and dangerous myth. The fact is that AIDS can happen to anyone.