Based on the answers I saw in this question What if a guy told you he was HIV positive? Would you date him? by Soulindub I decided to write this so we can clear up some things with scientific information about the so much feared HIV.
Let's start with the basics. What is HIV? HIV are viruses, there are two of them HIV-1 and HIV-2. Human immunodeficiency virus.
What does it do? First of all a simple infection. Which can stay in a negative state, without the person infected developing AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), for as long as 10 years (about 50% develop it in the time span of 10 years), in others longer than that and in some cases it doesn't develop EVER.
Misunderstanding number 1: HIV doesn't mean AIDS.
Misunderstanding number 2: People who have AIDS don't die FROM AIDS. Their immune system is destroyed by the virus and give plenty of room for opportunistic infections to occur, which can and do kill the affected patients. So they can die from a simple common cold that in a non-infected person would just cause a mild sneezing.
How is it transmitted? HIV is transmitted by
#1 - Having sex – vaginal, anal or oral – with an HIV-infected person (male or female).
Note: a one time exposure (aka having unprotected sex with someone you didn't know is positive) has a 1% chance of transmission.
#2 - Sharing needles or injection equipment with an HIV-infected person to inject or “shoot” drugs.
#3 - From an HIV-infected woman to her baby during pregnancy or during birth. The transmission from a woman not under treatment is 35%, while if the mother is treated it goes down significantly to 0,4%. An infected mother also can pass HIV to her baby when breastfeeding.
Misunderstanding number 3: HIV is NOT transmitted with Hugging, shaking hands, coughs or sneezes, eating food prepared or handled by an HIV-infected person, donating blood, mosquitoes, toilet seats, sweat or tears, simple kissing or everyday contact with HIV-infected persons at school, work, home or anywhere else.
Misunderstanding number 4: A father who is HIV+ can't pass it to the child. This is an extremely rare case, and only a handful of them are known.
Misunderstanding number 5: HIV positive doesn't mean, and I will insist on this, DOES NOT MEAN that the person is a junkie or a sleeping around. Ask before you judge. There are 400 babies born every year that are HIV positive. They come to this world carrying other people's baggage. They are born stigmatised for something they had no control whatsoever. So before you judge, maybe you should consider this case...
Can you safely date a person who is HIV positive? YES! You can.
ART treatment (antiretroviral drugs) can lower the viral load of the person to undetectable levels, which means that they can't transmit it any more. If the load stays at undetectable levels for 6 months, the person can also have sex without protection and have no risk whatsoever of passing it on to a partner.
There are more good news coming! Stem cell treatment is under research for HIV positive people and so far 2 persons have been completely cured of HIV. Yes! Completely cured! A cure is on the way!!
I hope you found this informative and that I managed to change your views on this topic.
PS. It's not HIV you should be afraid of. It's Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is far more infectious (50-100 times more than HIV) and has NO cure so you better make sure you are vaccinated against it.
And a little trivial knowledge for the end. An HIV+ person and a Hep B positive person are bleeding and a drop of blood falls to the floor.
The virus of HIV will survive on the floor for a few hours and is not infective during that time. The HBV will survive for at least 7 days and is still infective in this state.
Something to think about .... 😉