First what is Virus? Virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.
Russian blogger conducted a social experiment. He approached strangers on the street with the words: “Hello, I have HIV and I do not know what to do.” In general, the reaction of others was adequate, although not everyone agreed to shake the guy’s hand. In addition, participants in the experiment admitted that they would be wary of a person with HIV. Even if it was their best friend.
Happy Worthy Life is against pseudoscientific myths, especially when it comes to such a serious and sensitive topic. Therefore, today we will tell you what speculation it is definitely not worth believing.
Myth 1: HIV is detected immediately after infection.
Diagnostic methods have advanced, but still fail. Especially during initial testing. This is not a medical error, but a peculiarity of the technique: a false positive reaction to HIV can occur after chickenpox or herpes. In this case, an additional confirmatory analysis is always carried out.
Paradoxically, a negative reaction does not mean the absence of a virus. HIV infection has a rather long incubation period: from 3 weeks to 1 year. At this time, it is difficult to detect, because there are very few antibodies in the blood and the test simply does not see them. This is one of the reasons why doctors recommend testing for HIV every year. Such prophylaxis allows you to identify the virus at the very beginning and begin treatment as early as possible, which increases the chances of a long life.
Myth 2: An HIV-positive woman can only give birth to an HIV-positive child.
Now family planning for HIV-positive spouses is not uncommon. The pregnancy period and the birth process itself are fraught with various difficulties: you must constantly take antiviral drugs, abandon the natural birth process in favor of a cesarean section, and subsequently do not breast-feed. Subject to all safety and preventive measures, the risk of infection of the child is less than 1%.
It is not yet possible to completely eliminate the possibility of infection. If precautions are not followed, the baby still has a chance to be born healthy. But the probability of risk is already about 50%. It is possible to find out the baby’s HIV status only by the age of 1.5: at the first time of life, the mother’s antibodies will be in his blood and the HIV test will in any case be positive.
Myth 3: If a mosquito bites an HIV-infected person and then you, then you’ll get sick
Over the entire period of the existence of HIV, not a single case of virus infection through an insect bite was detected. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, in the mosquito proboscis there is a valve that allows blood to flow in only one direction – into the insect. At the time of a bite, a mosquito does not spray the blood of the previous victim under your skin, but an anesthetic liquid. Secondly, in the mosquito’s organism, the virus cannot survive and cannot survive, which means that insects are not carriers of this disease.
This myth is akin to the prejudices of infection through a kiss, the sharing of a flyer, toothbrushes and other personal items. So, through touch, saliva and insect bites, HIV is not transmitted.
Myth 4: HIV-infected people infect anyone they have Se..x with.
About 80% of HIV-infected people receive special drugs, and about half of them live with a suppressed virus, according to statistics. A suppressed virus means that the amount of HIV infection in the blood is so negligible that even a test cannot detect it. This is not a victory over the disease – at any time the number of infected cells can increase dramatically (for example, when you stop taking the medicine).
HIV-positive people with a suppressed virus cannot infect even those with whom they have se..x. However, experts still recommend protection. The reason is simple: the infection level can rise at any time, and the patient learns about this only after passing the tests.
Myth 5: HIV and AIDS are the same thing.
AIDS is an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This is a disease in which the immune system in the body practically does not work. And HIV is a virus that infects the cells of the immune system. If there are a lot of affected cells, a person is diagnosed with AIDS. This usually occurs a few years after infection. In fact, such a diagnosis means approaching the final line.
Many people carry the virus, but do not have AIDS. Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to cure the infection (although at the end of the article you will see some achievements of medicine in this regard), but with the help of drugs it is quite realistic to keep it under control and prevent it from turning into AIDS. The only difficulty is the need to take tablets literally by the hour and periodically check the level of antibodies in the blood in special medical centers.
Myth 6: If you get HIV, then you don’t have to live long
This is Charlie Sheen, formerly the highest paid actor in Hollywood. In 2015, he publicly admitted that he had been HIV-positive for 4 years. In 2019, the actor is still feeling good.
There are a huge number of chronic diseases (such as diabetes or hypertension) that do not cause death. They can not be cured, they reduce the level of quality of life, but do not lead to death. HIV infection is also considered a chronic disease.
An infected person is required to take prescribed medications, undergo examinations and thorough health care. Such measures will bring the patient’s lifespan closer to the world average. Many HIV-positive people live for years with the virus and still lead a full life. The main thing is to identify the infection in time and immediately begin treatment.
Myth 7: Tattoos and body piercings are completely safe.
One of the least obvious ways to get infected is to get a tattoo or piercing for a beginner at a low price. It seems that a person practiced his skill, and you got almost free beauty. Unfortunately, novice masters do not always follow the basic rules of disinfection. Needles should be disposable, and forceps, scissors and other tools should be decontaminated after each procedure. This is done in a special sterilizer.
We do not recommend stuffing a tattoo or piercing a navel even with a best friend who suddenly wants to become a master. Many cases of such infections are known. Moreover, you can get not only HIV, but also elementary sepsis. Choose only specialized salons or individual masters who have a work room at home and have all the necessary tools.
Myth 8: Everyone who is infected must notify everyone around them about their illness.
There is such a thing as medical confidentiality. Even if a person donated blood not anonymously, without his written consent, no doctor has the right to report a terrible diagnosis to anyone.
The only obligation of an HIV-positive person is to tell the sexual partner and his superiors about the virus if the work involves any risks. In all other cases, the patient himself decides whether to talk about his ailment.
Myth 9: The State will provide the patient with all possible medicines.
This is one of the most unpleasant problems that every HIV-infected person faces. State AIDS centers give out free drugs, but only the old ones. They are less effective and have a huge number of side effects (approximately as in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club“). Therefore, many try to find new drugs on their own.
Great help in finding them is provided in special forums where HIV-positive people communicate. At the same time, they often order not originals, but cheap analogues, which are produced, for example, in India. If you believe personal stories, then for only $ 100 a month a person will be provided with the necessary medicines.
Bonus: Maybe HIV can be treated
This is how HIV cells (green dots) look through the lens of an electron microscope.
In March 2019, the second case of a cure for an HIV-positive person occurred in the UK, and 2 days later a third was announced. The virus was defeated during oncology treatment using bone marrow transplantation. In all 3 cases, donors had a gene mutation, due to which they were completely immune to HIV.
We urge you not to neglect the test, because not only people with an irresponsible lifestyle get sick.
Preview Photo Credit C. Goldsmith / wikimedia – Illustrator Alisa specifically for Happy Worthy Life