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Fake News Alert! Correcting Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS

By Kevin de Vera

February 14, 2021

There is a number of myths and misconceptions about HIV and AIDS and probably millions of articles in the internet to help us know more about HIV and AIDS. Some of these misunderstanding about HIV and AIDS are related to how can HIV be transmitted, who can get HIV, and where is HIV from.

HIV Contaminated Canned Products? - FAKE NEWS!

FAKE NEWS: you can get HIV from canned drinks or food contaminated with blood from a person with HIV

FACT: zero chance of getting HIV in canned drinks or food, even if its contaminated with blood

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV is not capable of survival outside the human body. In fact, World Health Organization confirmed that HIV cannot be transmitted by food and water. Even if we assume that your drink or your food is contaminated by blood from a person with HIV, the virus is easily destroyed after being exposed to the environment such as air and heat.

If there is something odd about your drink or canned food, I’m sure it’s not HIV or caused by HIV. As a precautionary measure, if you think and find your drink or food strange, don’t take it in anymore.

In Cebu, last January 2019 if you can still remember, there was a scare about eating fish due to contamination by hospital waste which allegedly includes tubes with blood samples of a HIV-AIDS patients. News such as this could very much affect the public.

This is a misconception, like HIV in canned drinks and food. HIV can be transmitted from one human to another human, hence, fish to human or vice-versa transmission is impossible.

To ease your worries, you cannot get HIV from drinking water, public bath or shower, and definitely not from sharing a swimming pool with a person with HIV.

Is HIV a disease you get for being Gay? – Definitely a Myth, it’s like, 'did you lose your mind for not eating pig/chicken brains' kind of question…

FAKE NEWS: you got HIV as a punishment for being gay

FACT: you got HIV which can later on develop to AIDS, if you get infected with a virus called HIV

HIV can be transmitted from a person with HIV to another person through body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. If you are thinking that by somehow touching with your bare hands any of these fluids you automatically get infected, relax, because you won’t. These four bodily fluids (blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk) if coming from a person with HIV, must enter the blood stream of another person for the virus to be transmitted. That being said, activities like unprotected penetrative sex (oral, vaginal or anal) and sharing of contaminated needles (use of prohibited drugs) put you to higher risk of getting HIV. In addition, a mother with HIV may transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, giving birth or breast-feeding.

HIV is not a curse nor a punishment for being a member of the LGBT community. HIV does not know sex or gender. Regardless of your gender identity and your sex, if you have risky sexual behaviors such as engaging into unprotected penetrative sex, having multiple sexual partners, and using injectable prohibited substances, you are putting yourself at risk of getting HIV infection.

I have been asked several times where did HIV come from… there are several literature trying to answer this question and up until now, the world’s scientific minds have different theories about where HIV originated. In an article ‘Origin of HIV & AIDS’ by Avert, one theory says that it came from monkeys and apes, transmitted to hunters through their open wounds incurred during the hunt, and through the hunters’ wounds infected blood coming from monkeys and apes may enter.

There are still plenty of things people are confused about HIV and AIDS. If you heard something about HIV and AIDS, and you are unsure whether its real or another hoax from an unreliable source, it is always the best to raise questions, confirm the information, seek correct answers from reliable sources, and you may also want to contact GM through our contact us button on this site.



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