|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on January 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM|
While scrolling through Facebook, some people's primary source of news, I noticed a post several Facebook friends were sharing. The post was a news article warning people about HIV-infected bananas being sold all over Mexico.
DE ULTIMO MINUTO-Detectan Mas de 1 Millon de Platanos Infectados con SIDA.In English, LAST MINUTE-It Has Been Detected that 1 Million Bananas Are Infected With HIV.
People, let's get educated on the facts about HIV and how HIV is transmitted. Let try not to circulate "news" that isn't accurate and scares people.
The Center for Disease and Control, CDC, works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. and the following HIV facts are straight from their web page, cdc.gov.
HIV is a virus transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has HIV. Direct contact is sexual contact (anal sex, vaginal sex, and oral sex) or sharing contaminated needles, rinse water or any other equipment used to prepare intravenous drugs. Bodily fluids are blood, semen or cum, pre-cum, vaginal or anal secretions and breast milk. HIV can also be transferred from mother to child during childbirth. However if the mother is taking her medications, the chances of the child acquiring HIV are significantly reduced. Other ways of transmission include being stuck by a contaminated needle or sharp object, receiving a blood transfusion or tissue/organ transplant, contact with open wounds.
HIV does not survive long outside the human body. It requires a human host, a living human body, to be able to reproduce itself. You cannot get it from eating foods handled by an HIV-infected person; even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen. The exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus. HIV cannot be spread through insect or mosquito bites. You cannot get HIV from saliva, kissing, hugging or shaking hands with someone with HIV.
To debunk specifically what the article is saying about HIV transmission through infected foods, the CDC states “Though it is very rare, HIV can be spread by eating food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-infected person. The contamination occurs when infected blood from a caregivers mouth mixes with food while chewing. The only known cases are among infants."
I kindly ask that we be mindful of the news we share. Let's do some research and get educated before sharing. Not every news report or web page on the internet is accurate. Innocently sharing inaccurate news reports affects not only those living with HIV but everyone. It increases the stigma of individuals living with HIV and scares those who do not have HIV.