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Word on the Street: What Is the Craziest Myth You've Heard About HIV/AIDS?

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Norman Medina

Norman Medina, Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, Philadelphia, Pa.

One of the craziest myths that I've heard about HIV: I work with immigrant populations, and a lot of them say that HIV was created to kill the immigrant populations. I think it's crazy.





This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 

Reader Comments:

Comment by: JamesT (Los Angeles) Tue., May. 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm EDT
I'm curious as to what Yolanda has said about HIV and AIDS.
My understanding is HIV is the virus that compromises your immunity system by reducing the number of T-Cells. With the immunity system compromised your body is open to all forms of infections and other ailments that cannot be stopped. It's these diseases that are referred to as AIDS in an HIV+ person. You can have HIV but not actually have AIDS but I don't think you can have AIDS and not have HIV (although I know there is a school of thought that HIV has nothing to do with AIDS.)
A friend with AIDS told me that they (used to?) classify someone as having AIDS when they were HIV+ and their T-Cell count dropped below a certain number. I think the term "Full Blown AIDS" was meant to convey that the person had contracted one or more of the underlying diseases associated with it.
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Comment by: mike (dallas) Fri., May. 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm EDT
that you increase the chance of getting aids if you are promiscuous
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Comment by: Red (Florida) Fri., May. 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm EDT
Firstly, HIV was not sent by GOD, but was created in South African labs under the watchful eye of P.W. Botha. The sole purpose of this virus was population control...a human insecticide. It was first only planned to be used on the black South African population, but due to its success, it was used throughout the world, by many governments. It is basically a biological weapon and its greatest power is not the physical damage, but the stigma that is attached to it. It mentally kills you long before the body succumbs. To prove it is a weapon is simple, why is it that all different races enjoy sexual intercourse at pretty much the same rate, yet the virus has shown to ravage only certain racial entities?? The launching point for most of this were the free clinics and abortion clinics. That is the reason it has exploded on the woman population.
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Comment by: Nick S. (La Grande, OR) Thu., May. 23, 2013 at 1:37 am EDT
It was a big joke in the Army to tell everyone that we "used to have AIDS, but we're OK now."
Later, we changed our CPR policy to "You're on your own" if you need mouth to mouth or need help to stop the bloodflow. I personally added a copy of my HIV Negative blood test to a job application with Hewlett-Packard, and they said they were offended by that. I said, "If you've got it flaunt it" and that I was single and hoped the word would get around. They didn't like that either.
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Comment by: Dean (Florida) Tue., May. 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm EDT
In 1988 I was told by a coworker in a bank that the AIDS virus (1) engulfs a cell with tentacles like an octopus and (2) can survive a temperature of 3000 degrees F.
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Comment by: L Churchill (Buffalo, NY) Fri., May. 3, 2013 at 7:57 am EDT
Doesn't Magic Johnson now test negative for this disease, where did he go to achieve this?
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Comment by: Anonymous Thu., May. 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm EDT
Too bad it wasn't
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Comment by: Ashley (NH) Mon., Apr. 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm EDT
The craziest thing I've heard is white people don't get HIV/AIDS....I even got it from this slide show of individuals that does not include ONE white person. Very sad. HIV & AIDS is not limited to Hispanics, Latino, African American and other non-white races like your article suggests.
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Comment by: Michelle (Hickory, NC) Wed., May. 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm EDT
Um, this was an article in the Latino section of "The Body". That is why it was geared toward minorities. It has nothing to do with whether or not white people get HIV/AIDS. It was written for the targeted audience.


Comment by: Jasper (Missouri) Sun., Apr. 28, 2013 at 9:43 am EDT
Yeah, getting HIV AIDS is just the greatest thing ever!
Holy crap, you'd think reading you people's sites that getting HIV AIDS is something to strive for?
How about some STRIKING SOME FEAR INTO PEOPLE, rather than making it sound like getting a cold?
Let's face the fact folks, EVERY person who "ACQUIRES" HIV, WILL DIE FROM THE DISEASE that is born from it? - That is, if the HIV to AIDS theory that's being questioned more and more, is even true?
Seems to most people, a safe bet to say, playing in the human sewer is simply, all around, a bad idea? Which, if implemented as a LAW, would stop AIDS SPREADING THE MOMENT Law enforcement was given their orders?
Maybe, "That's" the discussion we need to be having?
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Comment by: Tom (Texas) Thu., May. 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm EDT
There is no law that could be passed that would eliminate the risk of AID or HIV infection and your contention that everyone who is HIV positive is going to die is also pure fiction.

Educate yourself before spouting such lunacy.


Comment by: leonard (marianna pa) Thu., Apr. 18, 2013 at 7:02 am EDT
People that think hiv/aids is a joke .If you got it stay away from me.
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Comment by: Darla (Chicago, IL) Tue., Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm EDT
Another one is that anyone with HIV is promiscuous. I was really ticked when the Chicago Dept of Pub Health put out bus banners in the 90s about that. My BFF became infected having sex one time. ONE time. That's all it takes.
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Comment by: Darla (Chicago, IL) Tue., Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm EDT
The craziest thing I've heard is in some African nations they think having sex with a virgin will cure them, so they go rape a young girl. Beyond disturbing and unfortunately I'm NOT making it up.
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Comment by: Irvin (Springfield, MO) Wed., Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:15 am EDT
I was working a phone line once and a lady called in to ask what she should do about this situation. A man, "who had feminine tendencies", was working on her car and cut his finger. He washed his hands in a nearby puddle of water and a few minutes later she saw her dog drinking out of that same puddle. She was freaking out about where to take her dog to get tested and treated. I reminded her that IF the man even had HIV, that the "H" in HIV stood for Human and reassured her the dog would be okay!
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Comment by: Ralph Allovuh (Crescent City, CA) Mon., Mar. 25, 2013 at 8:50 am EDT
The craziest thing I've heard is Gays trying to say that it's not their fault that the blood supply got tainted with AIDS which killed innocent people who weren't gay. They spread the AIDS, not straight people, not drug users- the gay drug users introduced it to the drug users.
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Comment by: Dzzl (Asheville) Sun., Apr. 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm EDT
You're an idiot
Comment by: Darla (Chicago, IL) Tue., Apr. 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm EDT
Beyond idiot. Most people in the world who have HIV are straight, not gay, and if the blood banks had had proper testing/screenings there would never have been any tainted blood. There hasn't been any since the 1980s as it's all tested for HIV now. If you are THAT stupid and bigoted you need to keep your idiotic opinions to yourself.
Comment by: Sandi (Memphis, TN) Wed., Apr. 24, 2013 at 10:50 am EDT
Could not agree more Ralph, funny how this all began - but it is not "politically correct" to call it like it is for the homosexual crowd.
Comment by: Ashley (NH) Mon., Apr. 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm EDT
Can you say ignorant...oh wait no you can teach ignorant people a thing or two. I vote stupidity.
Comment by: Alli (Florida) Thu., May. 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm EDT
As an HIV educator and an epidemiologist I think you have a very limited view of how HIV was spread in our nation. Without medication, it takes an average of 10 years to have noticeable symptoms of HIV. That means for a full decade, people in this nation were spreading HIV before we even knew it existed. And we were spreading it the same way we are now, hetero and homosexual sex, needsharing,and mother to child. Thats how it got in the blood supply- from a combination of all these people. HIV became known as a gay-related disease because we first noticed clusters in places with large gay communities. When doctors and epidemiologists discover a new disease- it is usually through clusters in one concentrated area. That doesn't mean women and straight men did not have the virus at this time- all it means is that we did not notice them at first because they did not fit the case definition at the time. Its easier to see similarities in people who are openly gay than to see similarities in your average joe person. Yes Anal sex is the riskest sex, but women have anal sex also. The truth is, just because we noticed it in the gay community first- does not mean it was not already everywhere. 10 years is a long time, and by the time we could even realize we had a problem, let alone by the time we identified what it was- we had spread it everywhere. And do not think it could not happen again. We could easily be passing around some new virus today that wont show its ugly head for another 10 years. You just never know.
Comment by: Alli (Florida) Thu., May. 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm EDT
As an HIV educator and an epidemiologist I think you have a very limited view of how HIV was spread in our nation. Without medication, it takes an average of 10 years to have noticeable symptoms of HIV. That means for a full decade, people in this nation were spreading HIV before we even knew it existed. And we were spreading it the same way we are now, hetero and homosexual sex, needsharing,and mother to child. Thats how it got in the blood supply- from a combination of all these people. HIV became known as a gay-related disease because we first noticed clusters in places with large gay communities. When doctors and epidemiologists discover a new disease- it is usually through clusters in one concentrated area. That doesn't mean women and straight men did not have the virus at this time- all it means is that we did not notice them at first because they did not fit the case definition at the time. Its easier to see similarities in people who are openly gay than to see similarities in your average joe person. Yes Anal sex is the riskest sex, but women have anal sex also. The truth is, just because we noticed it in the gay community first- does not mean it was not already everywhere. 10 years is a long time, and by the time we could even realize we had a problem, let alone by the time we identified what it was- we had spread it everywhere. And do not think it could not happen again. We could easily be passing around some new virus today that wont show its ugly head for another 10 years. You just never know.


Comment by: JIHAD W (NEW HAVEN,CT) Fri., Mar. 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm EST
I WAS READING AN ARTICLE A WHILE BACK.IT WAS ABOUT WHY THESE SO-CALLED "GROWN MEN" IN AFRICA,WERE RUNNING AROUND RAPING LIL GIRLS.THEY BELIEVE THAT VIRGINS WOULD CURE THEM.SO SAD AND SO VERY SICK!!!
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: JAC (Tampa, FL) Fri., Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:37 am EDT
WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?


Comment by: Anybody (Brooklyn, NY) Tue., Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm EST
The it can't happen to me I learned the hard way. White, two graduate degrees, in a committed relationship 10 yrs. and wham! HIV+. What was the reaction of my best friend? Don't come around anymore. He was scared he'd catch it if I breathed near him. Not a friend anymore obviously.
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Comment by: Gerald Quick (Albany, NY) Thu., Feb. 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm EST
I've been doing a great deal of advocacy work here in Albany, NY and yes there are still many people who still feel and think that you can get infected by just touching or just doing very simple things. If people were educated the right way then maybe some of the stigma, and real hatred just might go away, many people are so bust trying to have sexual intercourse, when in all reality they don't even know how to edeal with social intercourse, still running around having sex without any type of protection: ITS JUST SAD, WAKE UP PEOPLE, GET EDUCATED, GET TESTED, USE CONDOMS, THE LIFE YOU SAVE JUST MIGHT BE YOUR OWN.
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Comment by: deja (houston, tx) Fri., Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm EST
I'm glad to see so many educated, informed people spreading the truth and dispelling the myths about HIV/AIDS. Thank you! As a nurse, I have heard many people repeating false information about HIV/AIDS in regards to gender, age, race, and sexual orientation. These are stereotypes, and completely untrue! I think the most DANGEROUS misconception about HIV/AIDS is, "it doesn't happen to people like me." It can happen to ANYONE, and articles like this that put names and faces to the disease really humanizes it. These people could easily my neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. Thank you all for making a difference in this community.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: steve (earth) Tue., May. 21, 2013 at 6:32 am EDT
You know where stereotypes come from? Reality. Stereotypes might become outdated but they start out from the norm. Statistics show that the main three groups at risk of contracting HIV, are African-Americans, Drug use with a needle and homosexual males. Those stats are straight from the CDC.


Comment by: deja (houston, tx) Fri., Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm EST
I'm glad to see so many educated, informed people spreading the truth and dispelling the myths about HIV/AIDS. Thank you! As a nurse, I have heard many people repeating false information about HIV/AIDS in regards to gender, age, race, and sexual orientation. These are stereotypes, and completely untrue! I think the most DANGEROUS misconception about HIV/AIDS is, "it doesn't happen to people like me." It can happen to ANYONE, and articles like this that put names and faces to the disease really humanizes it. These people could easily my neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. Thank you all for making a difference in this community.
Reply to this comment


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