Common misconceptions

There are various common myths about HIV protection that you should not believe.

  • You can see whether or not a person has HIV or is sick.
    FALSE! HIV infection is not visible.
  • There is no risk of HIV when having sex with young partners.
    FALSE! Young partners may have had unprotected sex in the past too. Why should your partner have never done something that they are now obviously willing to do?
  • Sex with partners from the countryside has no risk of HIV.
    FALSE! Who knows exactly with whom and where their partner has had sex - and whether they used protection? And: HIV infections happen in small towns as well!
  • During anal sex, the active partner is not at risk of being infected with HIV.
    FALSE! The active partner can also be infected. The rectal mucous membrane of an HIV-positive person contains a very large amount  of HIV, which can be absorbed through the penis.
  • If the penis only penetrates for a short time, there's no risk of an HIV infection.
    FALSE! The risk is lower, but HIV can also be transmitted by very quick unprotected sex.
  • "He would tell me if he were HIV-positive."
    FALSE! Perhaps the HIV-positive partner is thinking: "he wouldn't agree to sex without a condom if he weren't already infected." And some people with HIV don't mention their infection because they are afraid of rejection.
  • Having sex only with HIV-negative people protects me from HIV.
    In principle, this is true. But who can be sure on a one-night stand that their partner is really HIV-negative? Many people don't know themselves that they are HIV-positive!