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Aug 21, 2000

Can a person be infected with AIDS by mosquitoes that had contact with an AIDS victim's blood? If yes, how can we prevent ourselves from getting infected? If no, why don't researchers find out why it doesn't and then perhaps find a cure for AIDS with research on mosquitoes and how the insect prevents itself from getting infected?

Response from Mr. Kull

There are several reasons why scientists believe that HIV cannot and is not spread by insects, like mosquitoes.

1) Epidemiology: there is no evidence that HIV has been spread by insects in areas where there is a high incidence of AIDS and large populations of insects.

2) Insects inject their own saliva as a lubricant to assist feeding. They do not inject their own or a previously bitten persons' blood. Malaria and yellow fever are transmitted through insect saliva. HIV isn't.

3) HIV does not survive nor reproduce in insects.

4) HIV generally does not survive long enough outside of its host to be spread by the insect's mouth area. Insects also do not generally feed on two people in immediate succession. There is usually a rest period in between feedings.

5) The reasons why HIV does not survive or reproduce in insects does not have any significance for humans. HIV (HUMAN immunodeficiency virus) is only fatal to humans.

No need to run out for the bug repellent. HIV is not transmitted this way.


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