Fighting Misinformation

Written by: Ravena
Link to original: http://sanguinarius.org/articles/fight_misinfo.shtml

The amount of misinformation surrounding vampires is startling. However, when it comes from someone claiming to be in our community, it becomes very disturbing. Out of sheer curiosity, I was surfing the MSN chat room scene when I came upon a Vampire room, which shall remain nameless. Shortly after my arrival, I was given a link to the community associated with the room. On the introduction page I was horrified to read that one could probably not become infected with HIV through blood feeding because stomach acids kill HIV.

"...its seems that vampirism spreads AIDS very little, less then swinging, average heterosexual sex and hookers in fact. If your teeth are not bleeding it's as safe as oral sex, stomach acid kills the virus." -- from the site

We are aware that stomach acid is known to kill the HIV, but it does not kill certain other blood borne diseases. And you can get other things besides HIV via oral sex as well. I know this is not the time or the place to conduct a sex ed class. Furthermore, the mouth could have tiny lesions that would allow for the HIV to penetrate, not to mention that the mouth is a mucous membrane and will absorb things.

Upon pointing this out I was sworn at and told that it was not a debating room. When I tried to clarify, I was told not to bother. Then when I disagreed, I was banned from the room for 24 hours. I went back under a different account and a senior host would only say that most of the time, the hosts didn't act that way. Apparently I was wrong to bring up safety issues as she was indifferent to the real issue, which is keeping our community safe.

The concern is that someone will come across that information and not knowing better, will believe it to be true. Almost anyone is vulnerable to this kind of false information if they do not know otherwise. A newly awakened vampire is especially prone to the false information and may practice unsafe blood feeding because of it. Aside from that, those in the non vampire community will not look on us very well if it appears that we do not know anything about the blood we consume and the risks involved.

Keeping our community as educated as possible on blood feeding and safety issues should be a team effort. It is utterly horrifying what people will put out for public view with no regard to fact or how it can be dangerous to one's life or health.

Note: To be fair, the community and room owner was not around to straighten this out. But the information is still out there for all to see, which is the main concern here.