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National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA)
HIV and AIDS Myths

Myths are strongly held beliefs which are not necessarily true about HIV/AIDS, some of which are intertwined with cultural practices. Myths and misconceptions are an impediment to strategies that are in place to prevent and mitigate the effects of HIV and AIDS. There has not been an established typology and understanding of myths and/or misconceptions in the Botswana context. However, several reports have attempted to capture people’s knowledge, understanding and perhaps perceptions of HIV and AIDS to determine myths and/or misconceptions.

Examples of myths about HIV and AIDS in Botswana are:

AIDS is caused by dirty blood which results from having sexual intercourse with a woman who has aborted a foetus.
AIDS is boswagadi in Setswana, which is a disease which comes after one has lost a partner or spouse.
Elderly men can get healed from having sexual intercourse with young girls (cleansing of blood).


Can I get HIV from a mosquito?

No, it is not possible to get HIV from mosquitoes. When taking blood from someone, mosquitoes do not inject blood from any previous person. The only thing that a mosquito injects is saliva, which acts as a lubricant and enables it to feed more efficiently. A mosquito is thus not a vector for HIV in any way.

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