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Health Myths/Facts for February 2016

Week of February 16, 2016: HIV/AIDS
  • Myth: I'm straight and don't use IV drugs, I won't become HIV-positive.
  • Fact:   One-third of all new HIV cases were from heterosexual contact. Overall, 30% of all persons living with HIV in DC got HIV from heterosexual contact.
  • Source: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration, DC DOH
Week of February 22, 2016: Common Cold
  • Myth: Colds can turn into the flu.
  • Fact:   The common cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they're caused by different viruses.  They appear identical at times because both cause similar flu-like symptoms. So, what’s the difference? The flu causes more severe symptoms than the cold, such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness and dry cough. The common cold is more likely to produce a runny or stuffy nose. Plus, colds don’t often send people to the hospital for complications – and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.
  • Source: TOURO Colege of Osteopathic Medicine
Week of February 29, 2016: Nutrition
  • Myth: Low-fat" or fat-free" means no calories.
  • Fact: A serving of low-fat or fat-free food may be lower in calories than a serving of the full-fat product. However, many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions of the same foods—or even more calories. These foods may contain added flour, salt, starch, or sugar·   
  • Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases