HIV / AIDS Course > Chapter 7 - Myths and Resources

Chapter 7: Myths and Resources

VII. Myths about HIV/AIDS

As stated at the beginning of this course, there has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the AIDS virus. Here we end where we began, with information from the United Nations AIDS website:

Are mosquito bites a risk of infection with HIV?

HIV is not spread by mosquitoes or other biting insects. Even if the virus enters a mosquito or another sucking or biting insect, it cannot reproduce in insects. Since the insect cannot be infected with HIV, it cannot transmit HIV to the next human it feeds on or bites.

Should I be concerned about being infected with HIV while playing sports?

There is no evidence that HIV can be transmitted while playing a sport.

Can I get HIV from casual contact (shaking hands, hugging, using a toilet, drinking from the same glass as someone who is HIV-infected, or being close to an infected person who is sneezing or coughing)?

HIV is not transmitted by day-to-day contact in social settings, schools or in the workplace. You cannot be infected by shaking someone's hand, by hugging someone, by using the same toilet or drinking from the same glass as an HIV-infected person, or by being exposed to coughing or sneezing by an infected person.

Does HIV only affect homosexuals and drug users?

No. Anyone who has unprotected sex, shares injecting equipment, or has a transfusion with contaminated blood can become infected with HIV. Infants can be infected with HIV from their mothers during pregnancy, during labour or after delivery through breastfeeding.
Ninety percent of HIV cases are the result of sexual transmission and 60–70% of HIV cases occur among heterosexuals.

Can you tell someone has HIV just by looking at them?

You cannot tell if someone has HIV or AIDS by just looking at them. A person infected with HIV may look healthy and feel good, but they can still pass the virus to you. A blood test is the only way a person can find out if he or she is infected with HIV.

Can I have more than one sexually transmitted infection at a time?

Yes, you can have more than one sexually transmitted infection (STI) at the same time. Each infection requires its own treatment. You cannot become immune to STIs. You can catch the same infection over and over again. Many men and women do not see or feel any early symptoms when they first become infected with an STI, however, they can still infect their sexual partner.

[QN.No.#16. Which of the following statements is false:]

When you are on antiretroviral therapy, can you transmit the virus to others?

Antiretroviral therapy does not prevent an infected person from passing on the virus to others. Therapy can keep viral load down to undetectable levels, but HIV is still present in the body and can be transmitted to others through sexual contact, by sharing injecting equipment, or by mothers breastfeeding their infants.

VIII. National/Community Resources

The following is from CDC:

For more information about living with HIV or AIDS, call:

Free referrals and information:
1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
TTY: 1-888-232-6348
In English, en Español
24 Hours/Day

Free materials:
CDC National Prevention Information Network
(800) 458-5231
1-301-562-1098 (International)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003

Free HIV/AIDS treatment information:
(800) 448-0440

Project Inform
(800) 822-7422

Drugs undergoing clinical trials:
(800) 448-0440
Social Security benefits:

Social Security Administration
(800) 772-1213


AIDS Education Global Information System (Aegis) from,May 9, 2005

AIDS Project Los Angeles from , May 11, 2005

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Center for Disease Control, from 30, 2005.

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The Author

Lance Parks, LCSW has a rich and diverse history of educational, clinical, training and administrative experience. Mr. Parks is a certified Group Home Administrator in the state of California and serves as an Associate Director and Licensed Clinical Social Worker at a residential placement facility for adolescents ages 13-18. Mr. Parks' counseling experience includes the following populations and settings: HIV positive inmates at CIM in Chino, California, outpatient Spanish speaking clinic, private psychiatric hospital, skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), private family counseling clinic, and adolescent residential placement.

In addition, Mr. Parks has helped plan, develop and/or present training programs and conferences for the following personnel: group home staff, state certified group home administrators, probation officers, social workers, mental health personnel, LCSWs and MFTs. Since 1999 Mr. Parks has served on the continuing education committee, residential care committee and juvenile justice committee for a statewide association of private nonprofit child and family serving agencies.

Mr. Parks received his Bachelor of Science in Family Sciences with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University, and his Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Question No.16. Which of the following statements is false:

a. There is no evidence that HIV can be transmitted while playing a sport.
b. AIDS affect more than just homosexuals and drug users
c. A person cannot have more than one sexually transmitted disease at a time.
d. A person can transmit the virus to others when on antiretroviral therapy.
HIV / AIDS Course > Chapter 7 - Myths and Resources
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