Friday, April 21, 2017

Mosquitos, Manicurist and HIV

Medical Mythbusting #3

HIV transmission from mosquitoes and from manicurist

Question:  Can HIV be transmitted from a mosquito or from a manicurist?

P – Patient Information:  15-55 year old men/women in Central Africa
I – Intervention:  transmission through mosquito or manicurist
C – Comparison: Transmission through sexual contact, breast feeding, labor/delivery, Contaminated blood
O – Outcome: an HIV + case from mosquito or manicurist

The stigma that is attached to HIV in Africa is still a huge contributing factor to the high death rate.  In Equatorial Guinea, HIV/AIDS continues to be the #1 cause of death in the country.  Many myths have risen from this because there is a desire to find an ulterior means of transmission than the normal “sexual sin” modes.  Because of that, the myth that mosquitoes and manicurists can transmit the HIV virus remains the most believed mode of transmission to most people here.

Here is what my research has found:

Only saliva is injected into humans when a mosquito bites.  HIV positive blood that a mosquito may have previously ingested is never transmitted to other humans.  Unlike mosquito borne diseases, HIV is unable to replicate within the mosquito’s gut and therefore is broken down.

HIV is extremely weak outside of the human body. It breaks down immediately once it comes into contact with the air. This being said, it is not possible for HIV positive blood to be transferred onto/dry on a surface (i.e. a pedicure tool) and then transmit HIV to you. All the tools at the salon were fully exposed to the air, which means any HIV in the body fluids that you fear were on the tools would have died before coming into contact with you.” - AIDS Vancouver Helpline for HIV related information.

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