About 105,200 people HIV In the UK, the latest estimates indicate that the government aims to eradicate the infection by 2030.
HIV first identified in 1981 /AIDS It was one of the causes of humanity’s greatest epidemic. However, innovations in testing and treating HIV, a virus that can cause AIDS, not only reduced the risk of becoming infected with HIV, but also helped people infected with HIV lead a complete, longer and healthier life. Can now be done.
In recent years, no matter how far we have come, HIV and AIDS still carry a lot of stigma, mainly because of the great amount of false information around them.
“”1 Main reason [our charity] All that exists is to challenge the stigma and myths surrounding HIV, “said Ian Green, Chief Executive Officer of HIV. Terence Higgins Trust “Sharing the facts about Wils in 2021 is important to achieving that.”
Terry Higgins He was one of the first people to die of an AIDS-related illness in Britain in the 1980s. A charity was founded in his name by his partners and friends at the time to personalize and humanize the illness in a very public way.
Trust says it’s easy for people to make false assumptions or make moral decisions about how someone got infected with HIV because people lack information about the virus. ..
To help classify the facts from fiction, we asked Green to break a handful of myths that people with HIV diagnosis want to stop saying and believing …
Myth 1: Kissing can infect HIV
“Kissing, sharing cutlery and toilet seats does not cause HIV infection. We know that daily contact has not been a risk of infection for nearly 40 years, Still, these are myths that never disappear, “says Green.
“According to a recent study conducted by the Terrence Higgins Trust, almost half will be reluctant to kiss someone who lives with HIV, purely due to stigma and lack of knowledge.”
In fact, HIV spreads through contact with certain body fluids of people infected with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex, or by sharing injectable devices. Mother-to-child transmission can occur during pregnancy, childbirth, or lactation, but this is much more rare.
Myth 2: HIV and AIDS are the same
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks cells that help the body fight infections. This makes you more vulnerable to other illnesses and illnesses.
Infection with HIV can lead to the development of AIDS. AIDS is used to represent the number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that occur when the immune system is weakened by HIV. You can prevent the onset of AIDS.
“We rarely talk about AIDS in the UK because of the effective medicines that keep people healthy. Instead, we can talk about people living with HIV,” says Green.
“In fact, our latest #LifeReallyChanged campaign celebrates the achievements of people living with HIV after diagnosis and the tremendous progress in the fight against HIV.
“You can now live a long and healthy life with the virus, and people will be mothers and fathers, pilots and priests, nurses and radio presenters.”
Myth 3: You can tell it during treatment
“The fear of infection drives the stigma surrounding HIV, but in reality, people who live with HIV and receive effective treatment cannot tell it with absolute confidence. “Now,” Green emphasizes.
When taken correctly, HIV treatment reduces the amount of virus in someone’s blood and prevents it from being transmitted from person to person. This is called the “undetectable viral load”.
Myth 4: HIV sentenced to death
From the 1980s to the early 90s, most people living with HIV were eventually diagnosed with AIDS. Things are very different now.
“HIV treatment has changed the diagnosis from a de facto death sentence to a manageable long-term condition, which means that HIV does not have to limit you,” says Green.
“But what can be a big problem is the outdated view of others about HIV, which negatively impacts the lives and mental health of people living with the disease. Everyone is a fact about HIV. We can end the stigma and the new case if we know, “Green adds.
Myth 5: People Living with HIV Tell Children About It
Mr. Green said: “In the UK, few babies are born with HIV because they can intervene before birth. We work with many HIV-positive mothers to share their stories and HIV as a parent. It shows that it is not a barrier. “
Myth 6: The fight against HIV is over
“We have come a long way in the fight against HIV and have made great medical advances, but that’s not the end – in the UK and in the world,” says Green.
“The country is currently aiming to end the new HIV infection by 2030, and the government has promised that, but one of the biggest obstacles to achieving it is complacency. , A true step change is needed to achieve life-changing goals.
“It’s a sin on Channel 4 [about the AIDS crisis] It was a great series with more people testing for HIV than ever before, but please do not consider HIV limited to the 1980s and continue to support our work. “
The Terrence Higgins Trust provides HIV support, information and advice services in a variety of locations. See tht.org.uk for more information.
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