For nearly 30 years, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) have been shrouded in myths and misconceptions. In some cases, these mistaken ideas have prompted the very behaviors that cause more people to become HIV-positive. Although unanswered questions about HIV remain, researchers have learned a great deal. Here are the top ten myths about HIV, along with the facts to dispute them.
Being anemic. Anemia is a low level of red blood cells, which carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. As a result, your body's cells do not get enough oxygen, and you feel tired and weak.
Having other infections that can happen with HIV. These are called opportunistic infections. HIV weakens your body's defense system, so it has a harder time fighting off illness.
Based on your symptoms and test results, you and your doctor can make a plan for treatment. You may need a change in your medicines. If you are anemic or have low hormone levels, your doctor can treat those problems.
Exercise may boost your strength and give you more energy. If you haven't been active at all, talk with your doctor about starting a walking or weight-lifting program. Or find another activity that you like to do. Regular exercise relieves stress. It also keeps your heart, lungs, and muscles strong and helps you feel less tired. It also may help your immune system work better.