The author of this article is Dr Amit Shohhavat, Internal Medicine Expert, Apollo Spectra Mumbai
A large number of people are living with HIV- AIDS. There are many signs and symptoms of HIV-AIDS that one shouldn’t miss. Also, it is essential to clear all the misconceptions regarding it. On the occasion of World Aids Day, we help you to understand HIV-AIDS in a better way. Read on to know more about this and try to improve your quality of life.
India is home to millions of people with HIV- AIDS. Did you know? Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition that happens due to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV tends to take a toll on the immune system by interfering with the body’s ability to fight infection and disease. One with HIV and AIDS will exhibit symptoms such as fever, chills, rash, night sweats, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, diarrhoea, and pneumonia. HIV means a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that tends to spread by contact with infected blood or sharing needles. It may also spread from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. It is a known fact that there is no permanent cure for these conditions but one can halt the progression of the disease by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. But, there is still not much awareness regarding these conditions as people do not come out in open and speak about them.
There is a social stigma linked to these conditions and those detected with HIV-AIDS are looked down upon by society. Here, we help you to separate facts from myths when it comes to HIV-AIDS.
Dispelling the myths surrounding HIV-AIDS
Myth: HIV spreads through holding hands, touching, or kissing
Fact: This statement is entirely false. HIV never spreads via physical touch which means holding hands, hugging/cuddling, or even kissing. It only spreads when one comes in contact with fluids like the saliva of an infected person. Furthermore, it can also spread during pregnancy via breast milk, semen, and blood.
Myth: HIV means death
Fact: Do not panic and believe any rumors as HIV is a viral infection. Though it is not curable, it can still be managed when detected at an early stage. It is better to consult an expert who will guide you after monitoring your health. It is possible for people with HIV to lead a healthy life with the help of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Myth: HIV will always lead to AIDS
Fact: People known to have HIV won’t necessarily get AIDS when they follow the right kind of treatment suggested by the doctor.