HIV myths

HIV remains a highly stigmatised condition and a number of myths continue to be widely believed.


Stigma and fear surrounding HIV can put people off testing which, in turn can result in new infections. Below we debunk some of the most common myths surrounding HIV:


  • HIV cannot be passed on through kissing, hugging or shaking hands.

  • HIV is not a death sentence – with treatment, it can be managed and someone living with the condition can lead a healthy life.

  • HIV can affect anyone who has unprotected sex or shares drug injecting equipment – so anyone who has been at risk should get tested.

  • If a pregnant woman is living with HIV and on treatment, there is a less than 1% chance that her baby will have HIV.

Think you may have been at risk? Visit the Where to get tested page to find your local service.

© 2019 Know Your Risk: Testing Week Scotland