Celebrated on December 1 every year, World AIDS Day is a global campaign. It aims at spreading awareness about this chronic condition to reduce its prevalence worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, around 37.9 million people globally were living with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) infection at the end of 2019. This virus has the ability to damage your immune system and make your body weak enough to not be able to fight against even common microbes. The last stage of HIV infection is called AIDS. Characterized by symptoms including fever, headaches, sore throat, weight loss, soaking night sweats, etc. AIDS can potentially claim your life. Even after a high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS, people have various misconceptions about the condition. Here we debunk some of them for you.

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.