HIV and AIDS are terms South African’s hear on a daily basis. It seems that most of us have reached a point of irritation when the topic comes up yet again. Your mind switches off and your thoughts drift to more interesting topics such as, ‘What am I eating for lunch?’ Unfortunately, there is a reason why we are constantly reminded of this awful virus. There are 7 MILLION people infected with HIV in South Africa. There were 380 000 NEW infections in 2015. New infections people. That’s why these reminders exist, although they might be extremely irritating and repetitive. Here are some HIV and AIDS myths that need to be debunked:
1.I can get HIV from touching sweat, tears, urine or faeces of someone who has HIV.
There is, in fact, no HIV in an infected person’s sweat, urine or faeces.
2. I can be infected by the HIV virus from mutual masturbation.
Mutual masturbation such as fingering and hand-jobs is safe in terms of being infected by HIV. However if you incorporate sex toys, make sure to use a new condom on them when you switch partners.
3. HIV can survive in water.
HIV cannot survive in water. Therefore, you cannot get HIV from swimming pools, baths, shower areas or from drinking water.
4. I can get HIV from used condoms.
HIV can only survive outside of the body for a short period of time. Even if the condom had sperm from an HIV-positive person in it, the HIV would be dead.
5. I can get HIV from kissing and oral sex.
There is a big but with this one. As with kissing, you risk getting HIV from someone if they have open sores in their mouth or on their genital areas. Always use a condom or dental dam to eliminate the risk.
6. I can get the HIV virus from getting a tattoo or piercing.
There is only a risk of getting the virus if the tattoo artist does not sterilize their equipment between customers.
It is AIDS awareness month after all, so go get yourself tested at your local clinic to find out if you have the HIV virus. It is free!
By: Kriszti Bottyan
See more: Part 1: Sex Myths