What is a myth?
A myth is something that isn’t true – like a story or a folk tale. People believe myths for different reasons. Sometimes people don’t have enough information to understand that it is a myth. They have been told something by their parents or grandparents and believe it is true because people have heard the same story for generations. We must never tell someone that their beliefs are ‘wrong’,
but you as a mentor can help them get more information.
Some myths are harmless and we don’t need to change them but others can be more damaging. Lots of myths are cultural – there may be people in your support group from different backgrounds who have different beliefs that you will need to be sensitive towards.
Here are some myths about HIV:
○ You can get HIV from kissing someone.
○ You can get HIV from sharing the same plate and fork as someone.
○ You can get HIV from using someone else’s towel.
○ HIV comes from witchcraft.
○ HIV can be cured by having sex with a virgin.
Can you think of any other myths? Maybe you could ask people in your group to tell you about the myths they have heard, and how they felt about them.