World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1. It aims at commemorating those who lost their lives succumbing to HIV-AIDS and lend support to those who are currently living with the deadly condition. World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988 and was the first-ever global health day. The day is important to raise awareness about AIDS that has claimed the lives of around 35 million people till now and has affected around 38 million people. Considering the huge number of HIV/AIDS-affected patients, the disease has been called one the most destructive pandemics in history. Also Read - World AIDS Day: Factors That Can Increase Your Risk of Developing The Disease
On World AIDS Day 2020, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his message said, “Health is a human right. Health must be a top investment priority to achieve universal health coverage. On this World AIDS Day let us recognize that to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility.” Also Read - World AIDS Day: All You Need to Know About The Condition
This year, the theme of World AIDS Day is “Global solidarity, shared responsibility”. One of the most important factors behind the death of HIV-affected patients is a late diagnosis and that majorly happens due to myths surrounding AIDS. That is why, today on World AIDS Day, here we debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions around AIDS.
Myth 1: Being around HIV infected people can make you develop the infection.
Fact: This is absolutely false. HIV doesn’t spread through touch, pee, sweat, tears, or saliva. This means that you cannot develop the condition by hugging or kissing a person with HIV. Also, sharing utensils and breathing the same air do not cause HIV/AIDS. It can spread only if your blood comes in contact with the infected semen, vaginal discharge or blood.
Myth 2: You can get HIV through a mosquito bite.
Fact: You must understand that mosquitoes do not inject the blood of the person they bit before you. So, if you are not coming in contact with an infected person’s blood, how can you get HIV? Moreover, HIV lives for a very short time in a mosquito’s body.
Myth 3: HIV infection or AIDS can be diagnosed by just looking at a person’s face.
Fact: This is one of the silliest myths one can have about HIV/AIDS. Symptoms of this condition are unremarkable. They mimic signs of some common infections and diseases. Fever, weight loss, skin rashes, diarrhea, etc. are some of the most common problems that people experience in daily life.