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Blood Hounded

Claim:   A child contracted AIDS through eating a pineapple that a vendor had bled upon.

FALSE

Examples:  

[Collected on the Internet, 2006]

A 10yrs old boy had eaten a fast food take-away about 15days ago and fell sick, later when he had his health check done doctors diagnosed that he had AIDS.
His parents couldn't believe it...?
Then the entire family under went a checkup none of them was suffering from that.
The doctors checked with the boy if he had eaten out?
And the boy says he had take-away one evening. The hospital team went there to check. They found the take-away cook had a cut on his finger while cutting the onions, and his blood had spread in the food.
The blood was un-noticeable with the sauce on the burger. When they had his blood checked... the guy was suffering from AIDS but he himself was not aware.
"Please take care while u eat from fast food outlets or roadside vendors."
Kindly forward this message to your friends and make them aware too. (if possible)


 

[Collected via Facebook, May 2013]

Rumour has it that a 10yr old boy got infected with AIDS 15 days after eating pineapple he got from a street vendor who infected the pineapple with blood unknowingly while preparing it.
 

[Collected on the Internet, 2006]

A 10 year old boy, had eaten pineapple about 15 days back, and fell sick, from the day he had eaten. Later when he had his health check done... doctors diagnosed that he had AIDS. His parents couldn't believe it... Then the entire family under went a check-up... none of them suffered from Aids. So the doctors checked again with the boy if he had eaten out... The boy said "yes". He had pineapple that evening. Immediately a group from Malaya Hospital went to the pineapple vendor to check. They found the pineapple seller had a cut on his finger while cutting the pineapple, his blood had spread into the fruit. When they had his blood checked...the guy was suffering from AIDS..... but he himself was NOT aware. Unfortunately the boy is suffering from it now. Please take care while you eat on the road side. Please forward this mail to your dear one.
 

[Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Beware of eating panipuri on the road side

A 10yrs old boy, had eaten panipuri about 15days ago, and fell sick, from the day he had eaten, later when he had his health check done doctors diagnosed that he had AIDS, his parents couldn't believe it...?

Then the entire family under went a checkup none of them was suffering from that. So the doctors check with the boy if he had eaten out? And the boy says yes had panipuri that evening. Then the group of Malaya hospital went there to check.

They found the panipuri seller had a cut on his finger while cutting the onions, his blood had spread in food, when they had his blood checked... the guy was suffering from AIDS but he himself was not aware. Unfortunately the boy is suffering from it.

Please take care while u eat at road side pani puri wallas. kindly forward this message to your friends and make them aware too.
 

Origins:   This tragic story about a ten-year-old boy contracting HIV through the ingestion of a variety of foods has been circulating on the Internet at least since May 2005. Pineapple In its earliest incarnation, the death-dealing foodstuff was said to be panipuri, a stuffed dumpling appetizer common in India. By March 2006, the deadly ingestible was being described as "a fast food take-away," and by June 2006 it had become pineapple.

No matter what the food, the rumor about a child contracting AIDS in this fashion is false. The Centers for Disease Control emphatically says people cannot acquire HIV from consuming food that has been handled by an HIV-infected person:
Except for rare cases in which children consumed food that was pre-chewed by an HIV-infected caregiver, HIV has not been spread through food. The virus does not live long outside the body. You cannot get it from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person; even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.
The HIV virus does not long survive outside its host medium of human bodily fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, saliva, tears. (Which is not to say HIV can be transmitted by every one of those — according to the Centers for Disease Control, "Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.")
The CDC reports that except under laboratory conditions, HIV is unable to reproduce outside its living host, and therefore it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. Were HIV-tainted blood to be mixed into food, the virus would neither survive nor multiply and replenish while it was still viable.

Although such cases are rare, the CDC confirms that people have acquired HIV through oral contact with, or swallowing of, HIV-laden bodily fluids. However, no known infections involving oral transmission of HIV have so far come from contact with, or ingestion of, a food product or beverage; all such infections involved sexual contact.

The summer of 2006 saw a rumor similar to the panipuri/pineapple one at work in the off-line world. Police in Qufu, China, were called upon to investigate a story that someone had injected watermelons grown in Fanji (a town in the Linquan county) with HIV-tainted blood. Linquan watermelons normally fetch higher prices than do those from other regions, and the farmers in that area had earlier in the year registered a trademark and established an association to protect their pricier watermelon crops. Once afoot, the false story served to drive down the price of Linquan watermelons, and sales of the fruit quickly declined. As one Linquan farmer reported, prior to the rumor's appearance watermelons he'd harvested sold out, but after the rumor had spread only a small fraction of his crop was bought. Police suspected the whisper was started by someone looking to reap commercial benefit.

The rumor about HIV being passed to a ten-year-old boy via his eating of food items echoes a theme found in other urban legends, that of dread disease contracted by random innocent parties engaging in what should be safe activities — for example, AIDS acquired via a prick from a needle affixed to the handle of a gas pump, by ingesting HIV-laden blood added to restaurant ketchup dispensers, through eating pizza to which HIV-laden semen had been added; flesh-eating contagion passed on the skins of bananas imported from Costa Rica; and Weil's Disease contracted via soda cans encrusted with rat urine. Such rumors are society's way of expressing its disquiet about having to co-exist with dread contagion even in medically advanced times.

Barbara "sick with worry" Mikkelson

Last updated:   13 March 2014

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Sources:

    ShanghaiDaily.com.   "Police Investigate Rumor on 'HIV Melons.'"
    27 June 2006.