HIV in Men: Myths, Symptoms and Protection

hiv symptoms HIV, the acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is one of the deadliest sexually transmitted disease (STD). Categorised into two types HIV1 and HIV2, they differ in terms of being more dangerous and infective and are the reason behind major HIV infections worldwide.  HIV2 is said to have poor capacity of transmission and hence it is comparatively less deadly than HIV1.

Even as half a billion people are infected by this STD, most of them remain ill-informed about its origins, causes , symptoms and how can one be protected from this diseases. Due this ignorance lot of myths and rumours have been spread about HIV. A little awareness about HIV could save lot many lives and make lives better of those who are infected.

HIV in Men: Myths

Myth1

HIV spreads through non sexual physical contact like hugging, handshake, sharing cloths, utensils or mosquito bites. 100% false, you can’t contract this infection by doing any of above. HIV is transmitted through exchange of body fluids like semen, vaginal fluid or blood. Sharing room with HIV infected person or shaking hands with them would do no harm. HIV doesn’t survive in insects so mosquito carrying HIV infection is a fable.

Myth2

HIV Means Death

Though it is a non curable disease, even HIV infected people can live a full and productive life for many years if diagnosed in time and are treated well.

Myth3

Homosexual Are More Likely to Get Infected by HIV or Homosexuality Causes HIV

While it is true that HIV spreads through unprotected sexual contact between infected people, this disease doesn’t discriminate between sexes. You could be heterosexual or homosexual whatever your orientation, you stand equal chances of being infected by this disease if you are indulge in unprotected sex.

Myth4

Two Infected HIV People Do not Need to Use Protection While Having Sex

Re-infection or exchanging different strains of HIV, leads to graver situation. Even the infected people are advised to use condoms before gearing up for the act.

Myth5

Condom is ultimate saviour, you get liberty to have sex with infected person if you wear condom. While condom does save you from various sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, the success ratio is of roughly 90%. The condom might tear or slip, while performing the act leaving you exposed to volley of infections. So, if you know the sexual history of your partner i.e. you know he/she is infected, it is better to avoid having any type of sexual physical contact.

Symptoms of HIV in Men

Even as we bust the myths, there are still millions of people who are infected by HIV and are still in dark about it. Worst part is the virus lies dormant for years together, sending out signals to the bearer that all is well. A few symptoms can help detect HIV and help people get timely treatment.

Symptoms of HIV in Men

HIV in its primary bear symptoms like that of flu, if you have mild fever, joint pains, dry cough continually for over  a month, after having unprotected sex , HIV test is recommended. Are you experiencing rapid and sudden weight loss, sore throat, nausea and diarrhoea for no apparent reason? Get yourself tested for HIV. Unexplainable fatigue, oral and genital herpes are also major symptoms of HIV.

HIV in Men: How Can You Protect Yourself From Being Infected?

First and the most obvious method to avoid HIV infection are to practise safe sex. Using condoms and being loyal to your partner is least you can do for your own and your partner’s good. The notion that HIV infects only few people is wrong; anyone who is sexually active can be infected by HIV.

safe sex

Avoid sharing needles at all costs for any reasons. Many countries have even banned to re-use of any syringe or needles for whatsoever reasons. Even while doing a good cause like donating blood make sure the doctor uses fresh syringe/needle to collect the blood. Blood transfusion is another major reason for contracting HIV, make sure that you know history of blood donor and the blood is infection free, before blood is transmitted. Infected needles are another major reason to say no to drugs. Keep testing yourself for HIV at frequent intervals.

Unfortunately even if you are tested positive for HIV, all is not lost. You probably are in time for treatment, which will allow you to live a life that is respectable and fullfilling even as you battle your HIV infection.

If you know anyone who is infected by this incurable disease called HIV, empathise, dont  be quick judge them.

Photo Credit: http://allhivsymptomsinmen.com/

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