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9 Mitos Tetang HIV/AIDS

Dari waktu ke waktu, kesalahpahaman tentang penyakit HIV/AIDS masih saja terjadi. Banyak mitos seputar HIV/AIDS yang tidak kunjung hilang dan masih saja melekat di benak masyarakat.
Padahal, mitos menyesatkan ini kerap merugikan, bukan hanya bagi individu atau pasien, melainkan juga masyarakat secara umum. Berikut ini adalah 9 mitos paling sering ditemukan seputar penyakit HIV/AIDS:
1. Mengidap HIV berarti menderita AIDS Mungkin ini adalah mitos paling populer. Banyak orang menganggap terinfeksi HIV berarti menderita AIDS. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) adalah virus yang menghancurkan sel-sel kekebalan tubuh seperti sel CD4 yang berperan membantu melawan penyakit. Dengan pengobatan yang tepat, Anda bisa mengidap HIVselama bertahun-tahun, tetapi tidak berkembang menjadi AIDS. Untuk bisa sampai ke tahap AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), Anda harus mengalami infeksi oportunistik atau jumlah sel CD4-nya di bawah 200 per milimeter kubik .
2. HIV dapat menular melalui kontak biasa Faktanya, seseorang tidak akan tertular atau menyebarkan HIV hanya dengan memeluk orang lain, memakai handuk, atau memakai alat makan yang sama. HIV dapat menyebar melalui kebiasaan atau perilaku seks tidak aman, memakai jarum suntik bersama-sama, atau menato tubuh dengan alat yang tidak steril.
3. Pengidap HIV berumur pendek Setiap pengidap HIV akan mengalami hal yang berbeda-beda. Beberapa pasien mungkin akan sampai pada tahap AIDS hanya dalam beberapa bulan saja karena virus HIV dengan cepat melemahkan sistem kekebalan tubuhnya. Namun, ada pula pasien yang bisa bertahan selama bertahun-tahun walau tubuhnya mengidap HIV. Jadi, mereka sebenarnya mempunyai harapan hidup yang sama. Pasien dapat melakukan pencegahan agar HIV tak berkembang menjadi AIDS dengan selalu berkonsultasi dengan dokter dan mengikuti rekomendasi medis.
4. Anda tahu positif HIV karena merasakan gejalanya Beberapa pasien tidak menunjukkan gejala apa pun setelah selama bertahun-tahun terinfeksi HIV. Namun, sebagian lagi mengalami gejala hanya dalam kurun waktu 10 hari hingga beberapa pekan setelah terinfeksi. Gejala yang muncul pertama kali mirip dengan flu atau mononucleosis disertai demam, kelelahan, ruam, dan sakit tenggorokan. Gejala-gejala tersebut biasanya menghilang setelah beberapa pekan dan mungkin tidak akan mengalami lagi gejala itu selama beberapa tahun. Satu-satunya cara memastikan apakah Anda terinfeksi HIV adalah menjalani tes atau screening.
5. HIV dapat disembuhkan Hingga saat ini belum ada obat yang mampu menyembuhkan HIV. Pengobatan hanya sebatas untuk menjaga agar kadar virus tetap rendah dan membantu mempertahankan sistem kekebalan tubuh.
6. HIV hanya menginfeksi kelompok berisiko Faktanya HIV dapat menginfeksi siapa saja. Pria, wanita, anak-anak, baik yang gay maupun straight. Data di Amerika Serikat, misalnya, kalangan pria yang melakukan hubungan seks dengan sesama jenis berisiko hingga 53% terinfeksi HIV. Kaum wanita menyumbang 27 persen infeksi baru, sedangkan anak-anak menyumbang 13 persen infeksi baru. Sekitar 50 persen kasus baru HIV setiap tahunnya di AS disumbangkan oleh kaum Afro-Amerika.
7. Seks menjadi aman  untuk sesama pengidap HIV Ketika Anda dan pasangan sama-sama terinfeksi HIV, bukan berarti Anda tidak perlu lagi memerhatikan faktor keamanan saat berhubungan intim. Menggunakan kondom atau karet pengaman lain dapat membantu melindungi Anda dari penyakit menular seksual lainnya, selain juga mencegah penularan strain virus HIV lain, yang mungkin resisten terhadap obat anti-HIV. Meskipun Anda sedang menjalani pengobatan atau merasa sehat, Anda tetap berisiko terinfeksi.
8. Bayi dari ibu yang terinfeksi sudah pasti positif HIV Ibu yang terinfeksi bisa menularkan HIV kepada bayi yang dilahirkannya ketika proses kehamilan ataupun persalinan. Tetapi, risiko ini dapat ditekan dengan cara bimbingan dokter dan mendapatkan perawatan dan pengobatan yang tepat dari dokter. Wanita hamil yang mengidap HIV dapat menjalani pengobatan untuk mengendalikan infeksi  an melindungi sang bayi dalam rahim dari risiko tertular virus.
9. Anda dapat mencegah infeksi lain terkait dengan HIV Karena melemahnya sistem kekebalan tubuh, mereka yang terinfeksi HIV  menjadi sangat rentan terhadap beragam jenis infeksi, sepertipneumocystis pneumonia, tuberculosis, candidiasis, cytomegalovirus, dan toxoplasmosis. Cara terbaik untuk menekan risiko adalah menjalani pengobatan HIV dengan disiplin.  Sejumlah  infeksi dapat dicegah dengan obat-obat tertentu. Anda juga dapat menekan risiko dengan menghindari kontak dengan kuman melalui sejumlah perilaku, seperti tidak memakan daging setengah matang dan tidak meminum air yang terkontaminasi.