Ways You Cannot Get The HIV Virus
In the early 1980’s the discovery of AIDS brought many unanswered questions and fears to the public. No
one clearly understood how it was transferred from one person to another. Rumors flew about the disease and
people would have nothing to do with anyone who was diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.
Today, we know a much more about the way the disease is transmitted, and researchers and scientists are busy
finding treatment choices, vaccines, and cures.
There are some ways you cannot get AIDS! Many of these myths persisted for years after scientists proved
AIDS could not be transferred in these ways. The first myth buster is you can’t get the virus by breathing
the same air as an AIDS patient. It is not an airborne virus. You can only get the infection by coming
into direct contact with body fluids of a patient who has the HIV virus.
You also cannot get AIDS from food or water. Again, it is only transferred by sexual contact or contact
with body fluids of an individual who has HIV or AIDS. Yes, I know there was a myth flying around you could
get AIDS by getting a mosquito bite, but again this is not true. Insects and animals cannot transfer the
virus to a human. It is fine to adopt a pet from a person who has AIDS.
Giving blood cannot give you AIDS. The danger is in receiving tainted blood that has been donated by
someone who has AIDS. Since 1985, this has been rare because all donated blood is run through tests to insure
it is not infected with HIV. It is safe to give blood because all medical equipment used is sterilized and
Last, you cannot get AIDS from having every-day contact with a person suffering from AIDS. Shaking hands,
giving a hug, or being in the same room with an AIDS patient will not cause you to be infected.
Did You Know?
The signs of symptoms of AIDS or HIV are different depending on what stage the
infection is in. When a person is first infected they may have flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph
nodes but recover quickly.
This flu-like sickness may occur two to six weeks after being infected and is not always associated
with the possibility of HIV infection. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms until years
later, you can still infect other people with the virus.
Once your body is invaded with the HIV or AIDS virus, your immune system is under attack. Even
though you may not be having any symptoms, you can still pass the disease on to another person.
Meanwhile, even if you are symptom free, your cells that coordinate your immune system are slowly
You can remain this way for as many as ten years but during that time you will begin it experience
more frequent infections as your immune cells are destroyed.
You may experience chronic symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of breath, cough,
fever, and unexplained weight loss.
In today’s enlightened world we know that AIDS is spread through direct contact with body fluids of people who
have been infected with HIV. You can get AIDS from practicing unsafe sex, from having multiple sexual
partners, or born to or breast-fed from an HIV-positive woman. It is rare for someone to get AIDS by having a
contaminated organ donation or from contact with unsanitary dental equipment.
You can be infected by sharing contaminated needles with other drug users, having sexually transmitted diseases or
by having a contaminated blood transfusion before 1985. The AIDS virus can go undetected for over ten years
but it is destroying the immune system without your knowledge.
The best way to avoid HIV aids is to avoid taking part in risky behavior, so make
sure to not have unprotected sex and make sure to use sterilized needles for injections.
If you have increased risk for developing AIDS, have a test regularly every year. Remember to
be safe! You can get AIDS by both homosexual and heterosexual sexual activity. Take precautions with
all of your sexual partners. If you are a member of the medical profession, take extra precautions to not
touch a patient’s bodily fluids.