HIV Fact or Fiction


HIVFact or Fiction


Formany years when one tested positive for HIV, it was perceived as adeath sentence.

Currently,more than 30 million people have acquired HIV infection globally, andmore than half of these population are not aware of living with thedisease. A timeline of HIV tends to reflect the history of theepidemic from its manifestation, fear and death to the currentresearch based years. The first identified case of HIV in humans wasfirst recognized in 1959 where the infected person lived in Congo(Kimberly, 2013). He was unaware of the disease, and numerous studycould not conclude how he got the disease. In 1981, the original caseof HIV was identified in the US (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015). Gaymen started dying from the pneumonia-like infection. The Center forDisease Control and Prevention stated the symptom to being an unknowndisease. Before long, healthcare providers started reportingincreased number of similar cases paralleled by rising number ofdeaths from the mysterious illness. In 1982, the acquired immunedeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was the name given to the mysteriousdisease by the CDC (, 2016). Consequently, National AIDShotline was established to respond to queries concerning thecondition. In the same period, the US AIDS clinic was first foundedin San Francisco.

Asmall finding was discovered in 1984 at the National CancerInstitute. Robert Gallo and his co-workers identified the humanimmunodeficiency virus which is liable for HIV (Kimberly, 2013). In1994, once the disease was identified, HIV was considered an epidemicand the primary cause of deaths among the Americans between the agesof 25 and 44. At least, 18 million HIV-infected adults and more than1 million HIV-positive children were reported at the time (Kimberly,2013). In 1995, the Food and Drug Administration sanctioned the firstprotease inhibitor. Robust therapy and response known as the highlyactive antiretroviral therapy was introduced, and in 1997, it wasdeemed as the standard treatment for HIV (, 2016). By 2012,the first HIV test kit was permitted by the FDA that enables peopleto check their status in the seclusion of their homes. In 2013, CDCdiscovered that regular doses of HIV drugs might help in preventingthe transmission of HIV. This was hope for people who testednegative. HIV surveillance report presented in 2015 showed that HIVinfection rates in the America remained relatively steady for theperiod 2009 to 2013(Kimberly, 2013). Currently, the United Nationheld General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS to facilitatean end in AIDS endemic.

Giventhat the WHO claims that HIV has killed at least 40 millionindividuals from 1980s, the disease remains to be plagued bymisinformation (Schaefer, 2015). One of the common misconceptionsabout HIV is that it is perceived as a death sentence. In theearliest years of HIV epidemic, death rates were extremely high.However, these days, with proper treatments, HIV positive people canlive longer, ordinary and meaningful lives (WebM, 2016). From 1996,with the development of highly active antiretroviral drugs andtreatments, persons living with the disease in today’sindustrialized nation can live an ordinary life span, provided theyfaithfully consume their prescribed drugs and therapies (Schaefer,2015).

Thesecond misconception is that, with the advanced modern treatments,HIV is no big deal. Young people have now lost fear for HIV becauseof remarkable success of therapies. This kind of assertiveness hasmade people engage in carefree and irresponsible sexual behaviorscontributing to increased rates of infection (Phan, 2016).Antiretroviral drugs only reduce the risks of transmission this doesnot imply that an infected person cannot pass the virus to others.HIV treatment only keeps down the viral load to indiscernible levels,however, the virus may still be present in the body thus there is achance that it can be transmitted to others through engaging intosexual contact, breastfeeding an infant, or sharing injecting tools(WebM, 2016). To prevent HIV transmission, therapy should be usedwith condoms when engaging in sexual acts and inserting tools must beproperly disposed of.

Thethird myth is that HIV-infected persons cannot bear children. It ispossible for an HIV-positive couple to have a child, although it isimpossible to guarantee that the virus will not be transmitted to thechild, there are ways in which this risk can be reduced (Schaefer,2015). For instance, an HIV-infected pregnant woman is required tocorrectly take her antiretroviral drugs before and during pregnancy.Provided that the woman takes her treatment faithfully and her viralload is undetectable, the probability of spreading the virus to thebaby is minimal or close to none (Phan, 2016).

References A Timeline of HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from

KaiserFamily Foundation. (2015). Global Health Policy. Global HIV/AIDSTimeline. Retrieved from

Kimberly,H. (2013). healthline. The History of HIV. Retrieved from

Phan.(2016). Peel HIV/AIDS Network. Retrieved from

Schaefer,A. (2015). healthline. 9 Misconceptions You Probably Have AboutHIV/AIDS. Retrieved from

WebM.(2016). HIV &amp AIDS Health Center. 10 Common Myths About HIV andAIDS. Retrieved from