You are here because a friend or officemate of yours sent you a link to an online article telling everyone to beware of foods that are injected with blood that’s contaminated with HIV. Perhaps you have even seen photos of a banana or grapefruit that has a red stain in it, which is purportedly HIV-contaminated blood.
So can you really end up with HIV simply by eating something that is injected with the blood of an HIV-infected person who wants others to have the same fate as his or her? Continue reading. By the end of this article, expect yourself to be a more informed person who knows the real deal behind such claim currently circulating on the internet.
How HIV is Transmitted
Before we answer whether you can get HIV from consuming food contaminated with it by an infected blood, let us first brush up on our HIV/AIDS education by recalling how a person can become infected with HIV:
- Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV. Experts say that anal sex is the highest risk, while vaginal sex is the second highest risk. One can also get HIV from having oral sex, but it’s extremely rare.
- Sharing needles or syringes. Someone who is into drugs and uses the needle or syringe used by someone who has HIV may become infected as well.
- Being accidentally pierced by a contaminated needle. People who are in the healthcare industry are at risk of getting HIV by means of this.
- During pregnancy or through birth. A mother who has HIV may have her child infected, too, during pregnancy and delivery. Breastfeeding is said to be a risk factor as well.
- Receiving of infected blood and organs. However, experts say that this is extremely rare these days because of the rigorous screening performed by medical personnel.
According to experts, it’s also possible for HIV to be transmitted by getting bitten by a person with HIV, consuming food that’s been chewed by an HIV positive individual, and open-mouthed kissing with an HIV infected person, provided that both parties have bleeding gums and sores in the mouth — though all of these are very rare.
The Quick Answer
Evidently, the list above does not include being infected with HIV by means of consuming food that’s been touched by an HIV positive person or injected with contaminated blood.
So to answer your question: no, you cannot end up with HIV by eating something that contains the blood of a person who is suffering from HIV. For your peace of mind, here are some of the reasons why there is no way for such claim you have encountered online to be feasible:
- HIV cannot live outside the human body for a long time. HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus”. Quite evidently, it needs a human host to thrive. HIV cannot survive in an environment other than the human body, say, for example inside a piece of fruit.
- There’s no way that HIV can survive stomach acids. The virus will surely die upon coming into contact with the strong acids inside your stomach. In fact, HIV start dying out in your mouth — experts say that certain components of your saliva can effectively kill off the virus.
- Your mouth does not provide HIV access to the bloodstream. Should you be worried if you have open sores in your mouth or bleeding gums? Probably. But then again, HIV cannot survive outside the human body, so the contaminated fruit is likely to be contaminated with nothing but dead HIV.
Congratulations! Now you’re wiser than the rest. So instead of passing that link you received, spread facts and help others become informed and attain peace of mind.