HIV/AIDS- Get the Facts Right…
Whoever told you that having unprotected sex with someone living with HIV will make you become positive to HIV, lied to you. Or that information about getting HIV from sharing sharp objects with someone living with HIV, getting a blood transfusion from a reactive person, or from an HIV-infected mother to her unborn child; are not entirely true and these are some of the facts about HIV transmission:
You do not just get HIV by merely having unprotected sex with an infected person. For you to get HIV from a person living with the virus, the individual has to be virally unsuppressed, that is, not adhering to their anti-retroviral drugs which have the potential to suppress the virus to the point where they cannot transmit HIV sexually. What this means is that not everyone living with HIV can transmit the virus, the truth is, a majority of persons living with HIV are virally suppressed and can’t transmit the virus sexually. Also, knowing that some persons may not be adherent to their medication, it follows that you have the responsibility to insist on using condoms properly and consistently, even when an individual tells you that they are virally suppressed. This doesn’t mean that you don’t trust their words, it simply means that you care so much about your health and theirs also to the point where you do not want to risk getting infected or them being re-infected.
So when next you are asked or confronted with the knowledge about HIV being transmitted through sexual intercourse, remember to get the facts right – that HIV can only be transmitted through sex when the infected person has not achieved viral suppression and as such is at a risk of infecting others. Otherwise, people living with HIV who have achieved viral suppression as a result of being adherents on their medication cannot transmit HIV sexually. This fundamental truth explains why a person living with HIV can have children who are HIV-negative.
In the next blog post, I’ll be sharing additional facts about other untruths about HIV transmission when it comes to sharing sharp objects, blood transfusion, and mother-to-child transmission of HIV