MadSci Network: Virology

Re: Mosquitos ans HIV

Area: Virology
Posted By: Mark Friedman, Undergrad, Biology
Date: Thu Apr 25 10:44:35 1996

The issue of whether or not insects can facilitate the transmission of HIV has indeed been confronted recently. Researchers in the field have repeatedly concluded that the virus is spread solely through bodily fluids, such as blood and semen.

From the virus' onset in the early 1980's, there has been much concern over whether or not insects could transmit HIV. Studies conducted by researchers at CDC and elsewhere have shown no evidence of HIV transmission through insects--even in areas where there are many cases of AIDS and large populations of insects such as mosquitoes.

In spite of concentrated efforts to detect outbreaks due to insect transmission, evidence has yet to surface supporting the hypothesis. The results of experiments and observations of insect biting behavior indiciate that when an insect bites a person, it does not inject its own or a previous victim's blood into the new victim. Rather, it injects saliva, which does not contain HIV even in an infected human. Furthermore, HIV cannot reproduce inside an insect, which means that the insect does not get infected and cannot take part in any type of transmission.

I hope this clears up a very important point about HIV transmission. More information can be found here...

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