HIV and AIDS experts have focused so much on prevention and treatment of the infection leaving out awareness of transmission of the infection. Many people are afraid to do certain things or go certain places because of the fear of contracting HIV. Below are 8 common fears that people have on transmission of HIV.
1. Going for Swimming
There is a good number of the population afraid going of swimming, especially in public swimming areas. Some diseases like dysentery and cholera can be transmitted through water but not the HIV virus.
2. Getting HIV from a Cough or a Sneeze
People fear to be around HIV positive people especially when they sneeze or cough. Again, HIV is not an airborne disease and therefore cannot be transmitted through the air. It cannot also be transmitted through saliva or tears.
3. Chewing Gum
As explained above, HIV cannot be spread through contact with saliva. This explains why it is possible to share food, drinks and utensils with people living with HIV and not get the virus.
4. Mosquito Bites
When HIV first appeared, people thought that it could be spread through mosquitos. They believed that if a mosquito bites an HIV positive person and then bite an HIV negative person, that person would get the disease. Some also believed that if mosquitos could spread malaria, they could also spread HIV. This is however not true as the amount of blood that a mosquito could suck from a person is so little that it cannot transmit HIV.
5. The Fear of Public Washrooms
Just as there are people who fear swimming in a public pool, there are also people who fear using public restrooms unless they put toilet paper on the toilet seat before using it. HIV cannot be transmitted in such a way because the virus is not able to survive outside the body for a long time.
6. Having a Meal at a Restaurant
People create and imagine all sorts of scenarios in which they are infected with HIV at a restaurant. From the chef’s accidental slip of a knife to the scratch on the waitress’s hand or food that fell off a plate briefly and touched the table, these are all instances that some believe can get you HIV.
This could not be further from the truth as HIV does not live outside the body for a long period and if there was any HIV in those instances, there would not be enough of it for one to get the virus.
7. A Trip to the Strip Club
It is peculiarly common to have people ask if they are at risk of getting HIV after getting a lap dance at the strip club. So long as there is no exchange of body fluids, there is no such risk.
8. Sharing a Drinking Glass
Regardless of the number of times that people are made aware of the body fluids that can spread HIV, some people still believe that saliva is one of them. Nevertheless, saliva is not among the body fluids that are responsible for spreading HIV and hence sharing a glass with an HIV positive person cannot get you HIV.
The above fears are pretty understandable as a possible exposure can be terrifying. If you are still unsure of your current HIV status, do not hesitate to contact an STD clinic in Singapore and arrange for a HIV testing for reassurance and put those fears to rest!