Think positive campaign aims to undermine stigma surrounding HIV
Published Thursday, November 26, 2015 1:45PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 26, 2015 7:58PM EST
A Quebec HIV/AIDS awareness group is trying to break down stereotypes and stigmas about HIV infection with a new campaign urging people to "think positive."
The French-language campaign j'pense positif has its own website, pensepositif.org, where the latest advances in treatment and therapy for those infected with the immune-deficiency virus are discussed.
The campaign wants to clear up misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted. It can’t be contracted the disease through playing sports, using alternative treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy, kissing or hugging, and if HIV is well controlled with treatment, the risk of getting it through sex is minimal.
Unlike when it first came to public attention more than three decades ago, HIV infection is no longer a quick death sentence. In fact, with the latest therapies, it's possible for someone with the infection to live a long, otherwise healthy life
Under HIV treatment the viral load -- the amount of particles of the virus in blood -- can drop to an 'undetectable' amount -- less than 50 particles /ml.
This greatly reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to someone else, although it is always possible.
Genevieve Fortin of Cactus said the advances in HIV treatment give those infected a much better chance at a normal life -- and they deserve the opportunity to have one.
"People have the right, no matter what they do, what they get, for example HIV, to have a job, to have a successful life, to have love, to have children, to do sports and without judgement and without fear from other people," said Fortin.