AIDS and HIV are same
No, definitely not. HIV is the virus that causes the disease AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), which is a group of diseased conditions coming together when the immune system becomes weak and is not capable of protecting the body against outside infections. Even on being tested positive for HIV, it does not necessarily mean that the person has AIDS. However, when left untreated, the hazardous HIV infection could severely harm the person’s immunity, which can lead to AIDS.
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV induced infection. The time period between getting infected with HIV and then becoming diseased with AIDS can range somewhere from 2-10 years and sometimes even longer.
Shaking hands, coughing, sneezing and other social conduct from an HIV person can spread infection
No, Thankfully, HIV does not spread through air, water or food. The virus does not stay alive for a very long period outside the human body. Therefore, such contacts causal contacts like a peck on cheek, hugging, shaking hands, sharing glasses, spoons or other household objects, sneezing, or coughing does not result in the spread of this virus from one person to another.
Kissing a HIV positive person is OK
Not exactly. This is little tricky. HIV cannot be transmitted through kissing when only skin to skin contact happens, like a peck on cheek or hand but when kissing involves tongue and exchange of saliva with an HIV positive person, then it is not a good idea. Saliva can contain small concentrates of the virus and if it is stained with blood, the risk of contracting the infection becomes high. There is a possibility of a cut or ulcer in and around the mouth and the virus could enter the blood stream from there.
Only blood, semen or vaginal secretions can transmit HIV virus
No. Other body fluids like blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk may also contain HIV and all can transmit the virus.
Other secretions like sweat, saliva, tears and urine can also contain virus in them but in a much smaller concentration and the likelihood is faint. However, if any body fluid is stained with blood, the risk of transmission always remains there.
“I'm HIV positive - I am going to die”.
This is the biggest myth of all. Today, the advent of latest antiretroviral drugs allows HIV positive people and even people with AIDS to live much normal, longer and productive lives. The importance is of “prevention”. Practice safe sex and test yourself often, if you have multiple sexual partners.