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Does Serum thru mosquote bite transfer aids?

Dec 6, 1996

Mosquote bite transfersmalaria viruses through serum. It has been proved that AIDS viruses are present in blood serum. So at the time of mosquote bite it should be transfered from one body to other body. But our local health dept. says that it is not the case. Kindly guide us. Secondly it is said that if you are infected with AIDS virus you may not suffer through immume defficiency , you will be carrier of AIDS virus. How it is possible that some are active AIDS patients where as few are passive (carriers) passive patients. Kindly help us.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV for the following reasons:

1) HIV cannot live outside the human body for more than a few minutes. Mosquitoes don't bite one person then hop onto the next. Instead it's usually days between biting one person and then the next. HIV would be long dead before a mosquito bites another person.

2) Mosquitoes don't inject blood into a person. Instead, they inject their saliva into you. The saliva prevents blood from clotting. By the way, it's their saliva that causes a mosquito bite to itch. Other diseases can go into the salivary glands of a mosquito (malaria is a good example, and malaria has evolved to survive inside mosquitoes). Happily, HIV cannot get into the salivary glands of mosquitoes, and will not be injected into a persons body. So a mosquito does in fact puncture your skin to get access to your blood, but it does NOT inject HIV into you.

3) There's lots of data showing that the patterns of disease spread from diseases known to be transmitted from mosquitoes (like malaria), is totally different from disease spread patterns of HIV. Malaria and other insect spread diseases strike anyone living in a given area who are exposed to those insects. If HIV were transmitted by mosquitoes, its patterns of spread would be the same as diseases known to be transmitted by mosquitoes, like malaria. Mosquito-borne diseases infect any person in a given area, especially persons who are outside at dawn and dusk (when mosquitoes are most active). HIV on the other hand doesn't infect anyone in a given area exposed to insects. Rather, it infects persons engaging in specific risky activities (sexual, needle-sharing etc.).

We now have 15+ years of transmission data for HIV. The patterns of spread of HIV are radically different from the patterns of spread of known mosquito-borne diseases (like malaria). And even in places where HIV is prevalent and there are a lot of mosquitoes, the patterns of spread of HIV and malaria are quite different.

Regarding people being "carriers" of HIV:

It's hard to say if there is a true carrier stage of AIDS or not. When someone is a carrier of a disease, they carry the germ that causes the disease, but don't get the disease itself. When we're dealing with diseases like AIDS, because there is such a long period of time between infection and the start of the disease (the average for AIDS is 10 years), it's hard to say if "Long-term Survivors" are true carriers, or if they are yet to come down with the disease.

Long-term survivors (also called "Non-Progressors") may remain healthy for a number of different reasons. It is estimated that this group of people comprise approximately 5% of persons with HIV. They may have a strain of HIV that is less virulent than other strains, or may come down with less severe opportunistic diseases. They may be responding better to medications than others. They often have a very positive attitude with living with HIV/AIDS, and they tend to take better care of themselves. This is a key factor in living longer with HIV/AIDS. They may also have some aspect of their immune systems that may work better (this is presently under research study). Recent preliminary data show that some people may have a genetic resistance to the virus (see my response entitled "Genetically not predisposed HIV infection") for more information. So it's hard to say whether Long-term survivors are true carriers or not. They may just clinically do better for longer periods of time than others. Let me also emphasize that in all persons with HIV (symptomatic or not), the virus is very active at all times in their bodies. The virus is never dormant in the body, even in persons without any symptoms.

If you have any further questions please e-mail me at "" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS.

Why don't small quantities of HIV lead to AIDS?
One drop of blood

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