Myths & Facts

HIV Myths & Facts

Myths Facts

All sex workers have the HIV virus

Sex workers like everyone else will be infected with HIV should they have unprotected sex.

You can easily tell by looking at someone that they have HIV

It’s very hard for people to know if they or someone else has HIV without being properly tested, very often there are no visible signs

HIV infects poor people

Rich, poor, old, young, black or white HIV will infect you should you have unsafe sex.

HIV is transmitted through insect bites, toilet seats, kissing, hugging, touching and sharing utensils

HIV is transmitted through blood, semen and other bodily fluids including breast milk.

HIV + people cannot safely have children

PMTCT program helps people to have HIV negative children

HIV is a death sentence

With proper treatment, we now expect people with HIV to live a normal life span.

HIV always leads to AIDS

Although HIV/AIDS has no cure, it can be treated. A person living with HIV/AIDS can now continue to live a strong and productive life for many years.

If you test negative for HIV, you can have unprotected sex

Having sex with no protection will expose you to HIV infection.

If both partners have HIV, there’s no reason for a condom

There are different strains of HIV. If a condom is not used during sexual contact, HIV-infected partners may exchange different types or strains of HIV. This can lead to re-infection, which will make the treatment of HIV infection more difficult.

An HIV-positive person who receives antiretroviral treatment will not spread the virus.

Antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in the body. However, HIV remains in the body and can be transmitted to others.


TB Myths & Facts

Myths Facts
TB runs in the family; it is a genetic or hereditary ailment. TB is a germ, which can attack simply anyone. Heredity or genes play no role.
Each and every TB patient spreads disease. Not all, but about a third of TB patients are infective, mainly people who are still coughing. If the patient doesn’t have a cough, there is no risk of infection.
TB patient must at once be sent away – to TB hospital / sanatorium. Once effective treatment begins, the patient quickly turns germ free (non-infective). So if the patient takes proper treatment and observes precautions while staying at home, s/he poses no additional risk of infection to her/his family members. The concept of a TB sanatorium is a thing of the past.
There is no cure for TB; it means sure death TB is curable. Effective anti-TB medicines have been available since 1950s. Treatment of TB is pretty long. Medicines must be taken for a minimum of 6 to 8 months for complete cure.
TB treatment is very expensive. Treatment of TB is not expensive.
TB only occurs in the lungs TB mostly (80%) occurs in the lungs but can occur anywhere in the human body – from head to toe. When it occurs in organs other than the lungs, it is called extra-pulmonary TB.
Exposure to a TB patient leads to infection and infection means sure disease. Being infected is not synonymous with falling sick with TB.
After a couple of months of proper TB treatment, symptoms subside and the patient feels much better. Thereafter, the patient can safely stop anti-TB medicines Treatment of TB is long. Medicines must be taken for a minimum of 6 to 8 months for complete cure. Otherwise you risk relapse and complications.
I am educated and well off. I live in a well-off community. I can never catch TB – a disease of poverty. Anyone can get TB, but not everyone gets it. Knowledge about TB can help to prevent infection.
TB is spread in taxis TB is not spread through spitting or sharing plates or cutlery. You need to be exposed to TB droplets in the air for eight hours or more to be at risk of contracting the illness – so the idea that TB is easily spread on public transport is a myth.


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