Experts share the beliefs about the virus that are not only wrong but dangerous, too.

Many factors ― including scare tactics in school, agenda-pushing politics and misrepresentations in popular culture ― have created a massive stigma around HIV and AIDS. This impacts everything we think we know about the condition, from who we believe can contract HIV, what an HIV infection looks like and how the virus spreads.

Experts say that incorrect stereotypes about HIV have led to underdiagnosis and undertreatment for many folks who are either afraid to get tested, don’t think they need prevention or don’t think they can get the virus.

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