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Word on the Street

What Is the Most Outrageous Myth You've Heard About HIV/AIDS?


Mark S. King

Mark King, Atlanta, Ga., diagnosed in 1985

When I was working in prevention in Los Angeles, I once heard from heterosexual teenagers ...

... that if they put a slice of orange across a girl's vagina and it changed color, she had HIV.

Wow! That's one I've never heard before.

Really? Well that's good. Fortunately, that one didn't catch on [laughs].

On a more serious note, it's funny because I often get questions from people who want to know if they can be infected by some extremely remote scenario. I call those "fantasy scenarios." I always caution people that we can get caught up in these fantasy scenarios of how they might catch HIV because we don't want to think about the real ways, because it's uncomfortable to talk about sex or drugs. Unfortunately, that's how you get it and those are the ways we should be discussing how to prevent it.

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