Claim: Oranges from Libya have been injected with HIV-positive blood and pose a danger of infection.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, February 2015]
The immigration services of Algeria recovered a large quantity of
these oranges coming from Libya. These oranges were injected with positive
tested Hiv & AIDS blood.
Please share this msg & warn people of d dangers involved
Just saw the following on Facebook: The immigration services of
Algeria recovered a large quantity of these oranges coming from Libya.
These oranges were injected with positive tested HIV & AIDS blood.
Origins: On 24 February 2015, a Facebook user posted a photograph of what appeared to be sliced oranges with red veining or discoloration. According to the user, the citrus fruits depicted were imported from Libya, seized in Algeria,
and had been injected with the blood of an HIV-positive person.
The image appended to the post had previously appeared on a Facebook page on 19 February 2015, but the tone of that version was far more skeptical. The earlier posting observed that rumors about the oranges varied, and that the source of the photograph was not known. Prior to that, a version of the rumor was posted to a message board on 19 December 2014 and similarly claimed the oranges were tainted with HIV-positive blood.
Regardless of the origin of the image, the underlying claim is not plausible. Even if oranges shipped from Libya (or elsewhere) to Algeria were injected with HIV, no threat would be posed by that sort of contamination. As we noted in discussion of earlier rumors about tainted fruit, HIV cannot be transmitted in the manner described:
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.
Plausibility notwithstanding, rumors about unwitting folks engaged in otherwise low-risk activities contracting HIV have circulated for decades. Similar versions involved a booby-trapped gas pump, deliberately tainted ketchup dispensers, and adulterated pizza purposefully contaminated with infected bodily fluids.
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.