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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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The Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About HIV and AIDS

Myth No. 6: I'm straight and don't use IV drugs -- I won't become HIV-positive.

Most men do become HIV-positive through sexual contact with other men. However, about 16% of men and 78% of women become HIV-positive through heterosexual contact.

Myth No. 7: If I'm receiving treatment, I can't spread the HIV virus.

When HIV treatments work well, they can reduce the amount of virus in your blood to a level so low that it doesn't show up in blood tests. Research shows, however, that the virus is still "hiding" in other areas of the body. It is still essential to practice safe sex so you won't make someone else become HIV-positive.

Myth No. 8: My partner and I are both HIV positive -- there's no reason for us to practice safer sex.

Practicing safer sex -- wearing condoms or using dental dams -- can protect you both from becoming exposed to other (potentially drug resistant) strains of HIV.

Myth No. 9: I could tell if my partner was HIV-positive.

You can be HIV-positive and not have any symptoms for years. The only way for you or your partner to know if you're HIV-positive is to get tested.

Myth No. 10: You can't get HIV from oral sex.

It's true that oral sex is less risky than some other types of sex. But you can get HIV by having oral sex with either a man or a woman who is HIV-positive. Always use a latex barrier during oral sex.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 17, 2014
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