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AIDS - Mosquito bites spread AIDS

Q: Can mosquito bites spread AIDS?

A:No, mosquito bite can not cause AIDS. When a mosquito transmits a disease agent from one person to another, the infectious agent must remain alive inside the mosquito until transfer is completed. If the mosquito digests the parasite, the transmission cycle is terminated and the parasite cannot be passed on to the next host. Studies with HIV clearly show that the virus responsible for the AIDS infection is regarded as food to the mosquito and is digested along with the blood meal. As a result, mosquitoes that ingest HIV-infected blood digest that blood within 1-2 days and completely destroy any virus particles that could potentially produce a new infection. Since the virus does not survive to reproduce and invade the salivary glands, the mechanism that most mosquito-borne parasites use to get from one host to the next is not possible with HIV. AIDS is spread by direct contact with infected blood and sexual secretions. Direct contact includes having sex with an infected person, sharing needles with an infected person, receiving HIV-infected blood or organ transplants, or transfer from an infected mother to newborn baby. The virus is also found in smaller amounts in tears, saliva, brain, spinal fluid, breast milk, urine, and faeces although contact with these bodily fluids is not likely to transmit the virus. Casual contact such as by shaking hands, touching an infected person, touching something that the person has handled, using public toilets or telephones, or using swimming pools does NOT spread HIV.


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