Various reports of HIV-positive blood being found in oranges and canned fruit have persisted for years, but there’s no truth to these claims.
Even if these accounts were true, it would be nearly impossible to contract HIV from eating an orange that was injected with infected blood before it was shipped over a long distance. HIV is a living virus, and it needs a human host to survive.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral on social media, a netizen warns public about her experience this time involving apples which are tainted with HIV blood.
In her narration, the apple she bought from a street vendor. She and her friend already noticed a bruise from the fruit’s skin so decided not to eat it straight away. They decided to slice the apple and that’s when they found out a bright red strip inside the fruit.
This is quite similar to a report which posted 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.
The Centers for Disease Control emphatically says people cannot acquire HIV from consuming food that has been handled by an HIV-infected person:
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.
To date, the Facebook post is shared 47,866 times.