(syndrome of acquired immune deficiency) – a condition that develops against the background of HIV infection. With this disease, the number of lymphocytes decreases, which contributes to the occurrence of a variety of diseases. In the early 80-ies of the 20 th century, scientists faced a new disease, which later became known as AIDS. Already at the end of the 20th century, for the extent of its spread, the diseases were dubbed the plague of the century.
To date, more than 20 million people have already died of the virus, and more than 40 million have been infected. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, because these are official figures. Such a rapid spread of the disease causes fear among the population, aggravated by the fact that people often believe rumors about this phenomenon. Let’s consider the main ones.
AIDS and HIV are one and the same.
People often confuse these concepts. AIDS is acquired immunodeficiency. In this case, the body’s defense system is incapable of fighting disease. The immunodeficiency itself may well be congenital, in addition it appears in the course of aging, as well as due to serious illnesses. AIDS is associated with the activity of the virus. This virus is precisely HIV. For its reproduction, the virus uses foreign cells, in this case just cells of the immune system. Without timely counteraction to the disease, the protective system weakens, as the virus seizes new and new boundaries. There comes an immunodeficiency, that is AIDS. It is incorrect to express “AIDS infection” or “to pass the analysis on AIDS”. The analysis determines the virus, that is, HIV. He is the cause, and AIDS is the consequence.
HIV tests are often erroneous.
Sometimes it is heard that an HIV test may not detect a virus for several years. It is not true. AIDS may not appear for several years, but HIV can be detected within a few weeks after infection. In 95% of infected, the analysis gives a disappointing result after 3 months, and the rest – in half a year. It happens that the result of the first analysis can be false positive, therefore, usually there is a check by another, confirming, analysis. It has a different character and is more accurate. With a positive result on HIV of both tests, the doctor makes a cruel diagnosis – “HIV infection”.
HIV spreads through random injections (transport, crowded places).
There are often frightening stories about how accidentally jabbing in a club, public transport, another crowded place, you can buy this virus. Even so, they even spread it maliciously. However, over 25 years of the epidemic, there have been no reported cases of intentional HIV transmission. And the needles in the railing or cushions, like the injections in the clubs, are nothing more than intrigues of hooligans, competitors, and a tipsy fool. The facts say that accidental prick with a medical needle (for example, a doctor) carries the risk of infection no more than 0.1%. According to polls, more than 90% of people after the news of the infection immediately start to think in fright: “And who could get infected from me?” Infected people are the same as us, as a normal person will not come to think of stabbing acquaintances, and HIV-infected people will not have such an idea. This myth is spread by uneducated people who are ready to listen to their prejudices.
Condoms do not protect against HIV.
According to this, the myths of rubber products contain small holes through which HIV can enter the body. However, the virus “floats” in body fluids, by itself it does not penetrate anywhere and does not leak. Since the condom does not pass the liquid, it prevents the penetration of the virus. Naturally, this type of protection can not be 100% reliable, since a condom can jump off or tear. Studies have confirmed the reliability of the use of this tool. So, out of 171 couples who had one partner who was HIV-infected, the virus was transmitted only in 3 cases. That is, in 98% of cases, a condom protected a person from infection.
HIV is transmitted from a pregnant woman to her child.
An HIV-infected pregnant woman is a source of prejudice. They say that HIV can be transmitted during childbirth, during feeding, and even the carrying of a child by a sick mother already makes it infected. In fact, even without the use of protective equipment for a baby during breastfeeding, the risk of infection is 20-30%. Artificial feeding and the use of a special antiviral drug reduces this risk to 1-5%. In countries with developed medicine, the level of HIV infection in children in such cases has long exceeded 1%. Therefore, during pregnancy, women take the appropriate tests in order to prepare and take measures to ensure the protection of the baby.
HIV infection is fatal.
A person has chronic diseases, that is, those that he can not get rid of. For example, hypertension, diabetes. And HIV also belongs to such diseases. Despite the emerging reports of new medicines, drugs, miracle cures, prayers, no case of real cure has been documented. More often than not, such news is the fruit of the fantasies of newsmakers, bad translators or greedy crooks. However, no one says that it is impossible to fight with HIV at all. In 1996, a special combination antiviral therapy was developed that suppresses the reproduction of the virus in humans. And this tool is quite effective. The goal of such treatment is to stop the development of HIV and to prevent the emergence of AIDS. This therapy should be used regularly, like insulin in diabetics. Timely detection of HIV can ensure successful treatment. It’s no secret that there are infected people who live with this virus for many years.
AIDS is a disease of drug addicts, prostitutes and people of unconventional sexual orientation.
Society is convenient to think so, because this disease then has nothing to do with the normal majority. However, the figures speak of another. Currently, 30% of those infected are heterosexual people, and the number of women affected exceeds 40%, which in the future may lead to an increase in the number of sick children. So this problem of the whole society, you can not relate it only to certain segments of the population.
It is possible to contract HIV by household means.
This is the most common misconception about this virus. And it, alas, leads to the rejection of infected people by society. Of course, they can defend their rights, films are filmed (“Philadelphia”), but most people “just in case” are trying to limit their communication with the HIV-infected. The medicine clearly gives explanations in this regard, reporting that the virus does not transmit by airborne, through handshakes, saliva and the use of shared dishes. In fact, it is safe to eat one food with an infected person and use one clothing, paper. There is nothing dangerous in visiting HIV-infected public places, educational institutions.
The virus can be carried by animals and mosquitoes.
A big wave of discussion at one time aroused the news about who can tolerate HIV with mosquitoes. Today every fifth Russian is afraid of getting AIDS from a mosquito bite. But this is just another myth. First, outside the human body, the virus quickly dies. That is, the probability of infection is, if the cat or dog, scratched the infected, immediately and will scratch a healthy person. Secondly, with regard to mosquitoes, in the case of such an opportunity, the geographical spread of the virus would be quite different. And when bitten, a mosquito injects its saliva into the body, not the blood of the previous victim, HIV is not able to multiply in the insect’s body. It is interesting that cats can also get AIDS, this type of disease is called FIV (feline AIDS). For humans, this kind of virus is absolutely safe, because it has a different structure.
HIV came from Africa.
Other rumors are attributed to the emergence of a virus by the CIA or KGB laboratory.But at the time of the outbreak of the epidemic, scientists did not have biotechnological tools with which to create a virus. Researchers have many indirect factors, which say that the virus originated in Africa. Varieties of HIV are the descendants of the immunodeficiency virus of monkeys. Mutating gradually and moving from one species to another, he got to the man. Another argument in favor is that many of the early cases of the diagnosis of AIDS (from 1959 to the early 1980s) occurred more likely with people who had a connection with Africa than with Europeans without African ties.