Social Question

davidbetterman's avatar

Can Mosquitoes Infect People with the AIDS Virus Just By Biting Them?

Asked by davidbetterman (7527 points ) March 5th, 2010

In other words, can a mosquito pick up the AIDS virus from an infected party by biting them and then infect a person who does not yet have the virus?

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72 Answers

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I think so…I mean it can happen, but maybe rarely happens ;D hope I helped

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Malaria, yes. AIDS/HIV, no.

dpworkin's avatar

It has never happened.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin

If you have no proof, please put up or shut up.

holden's avatar

Thank god it hasn’t!

davidbetterman's avatar

@holden How do you know?

dpworkin's avatar

What bit you, @davidbetterman? You are most unpleasant today.

davidbetterman's avatar

Isn’t that your famous line @dpworkin. Why respond with a personal attack? Do you have proof or not.

dpworkin's avatar

Here: from Rutgers

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin If that were in fact true, then mosquitoes would possess the answer to a cure for AIDS.

ucme's avatar

Nah,i’m positive of that.

Response moderated
Lightlyseared's avatar

No. When it bites, the mosquitoe injects saliva, not blood that it has previously injected nor its own blood. The mouth parts retain only a very small amounts of blood on their surfaces and finally when an insect bites it then takes a rest to digest the blood it does not move from person to person.

shilolo's avatar

There is no evidence of HIV transmission by mosquitos. People are often confused about how malaria is transmitted, and it doesn’t involve retained blood. The life cycle of mosquitos is such that the blood meal is digested long before a mosquito bites again. For instance, the female anopheles mosquito (the one that bites and transmits malaria) eats a blood meal, and then most lay eggs and die. A few (~10%) will go on to bite again 3–7 days later, but by then the blood meal is long digested (along with it the HIV). The reason Anopheles mosquitos transmit malaria is that Plasmodium species (the organisms that cause malaria) have evolved to move (and differentiate in transit) from the gut of the mosquito to the salivary glands.

Here is a very thorough debunking of the HIV-mosquito meme from a vector biologist. Enjoy.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@davidbettermanIf that were in fact true, then mosquitoes would possess the answer to a cure for AIDS.

That is the stupidest statement I have heard in quite a while. The HIV virus is digested by mosquitoes, and therefore not transmitted to other organisms. Mosquitoes don’t possess a cure for HIV, the virus is simply unable to remain in the salivary glands, and is digested by mosquitoes.

TexasDude's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities, exactly. By @davidbetterman‘s logic, air would be a cure too, since AIDS can’t exist in open air.

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman How can @dpworkin provide evidence for something that has never happened?

davidbetterman's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Of course the AIDS virus exists in open air.
Where are you getting your data?
@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Personal attacks like yours merely indicate your level of intelligence and your own ignorance of reality. It is always gratifying, however, to read people’s replies which are merely parroting the company line with absolutely no real creative thinking on the part of said responder.

davidbetterman's avatar

@shilolo Did he not attempt to provide evidence? How do you know this has never happened?
Why would you blindly believe what a study in New Jersey claims.
Are you really this close-minded?

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard…It is a known fact that the AIDS virus survives in the open, dry, for at least up to 7 days. Wet, it survives for up to 14 days.

TexasDude's avatar

@davidbetterman, but you aren’t going to contract it from touching the dried up whatever it is that has the AIDS virus in it. Do you want a citation for that too?

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman Believe? This isn’t about belief, it’s about science. I’m a full time scientist, and my area of expertise is precisely on subjects such as this. Since you are such an expert, why don’t you provide evidence of such an event occurring? How can you possibly dismiss the work of virologists, vector biologists and entomologists only to replace them with your own warped and hyperbolic beliefs?

Here’s a discussion from the Centers for Disease Control, here is information from an HIV advocacy site, and for a simple explanation, how AIDS works and how mosquitos work.

Education is a powerful thing.

davidbetterman's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
Why do you continue. “air would be a cure too, since AIDS can’t exist in open air.”
You are wrong, now you wish to continue with ludicrous statements.
“you aren’t going to contract it from touching the dried up whatever it is that has the AIDS virus in it”
Of course not. However, if that dried up goop gets into your food because, oh say a cook doesn’t like you…
@dpworkin that was helpful. If he really were a doctor, I imagine his replies would be much less vociferous and far more gently persuasive.
@shilolo “I’m a full time scientist, and my area of expertise is precisely on subjects such as this.”
Did you personally do research on this? Who paid for this research?
Who paid the virologists, vector biologists and entomologists to do this research? Why do you attack me personally like some grade school child? If you are really a doctor, I am sorely disappointed in your bedside manner. Tsk tsk…

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman Ah yes, the standard meme continues. I cannot prove my point, I have no data, I cannot refute any of the available scientific data, so I accuse the scientists doing the work of impropriety. Shame on you.

FYI, here was my explanation as to why your thesis was flawed (very gentle and based on science), here was my benign question regarding the logic of asking for negative/non-existent data, and here was my refutation of whether this issues requires belief. None of it is mean or rude. All were stated in simple terms for all to understand.

Response moderated
davidbetterman's avatar

@shilolo Shame on you for accepting data under such conditions. and then parroting the company line without even doing your own research…
@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Nice to see how you devolved. Go back to school now, child.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Oh I see…
This isn’t an argument over medicine.
This is an argument for the sake of arguing.
Please feel free to continue without me.

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman You asked the question, but don’t like the answers. Please, by all means, educate me. Find me one piece of credible data to support your thesis. Here, I’ll even link you to Pubmed. I eagerly await your response.

Likeradar's avatar

@davidbetterman You seem fairly convinced that mosquitoes can spread HIV, seeing as how you are arguing against anyone who is providing links or information stating otherwise. Can you please provide us with any links to reputable sources that claim that mosquitoes can or even possibly can spread the virus?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@davidbetterman Why do you even bother asking the question if you choose to ignore any facts or evidence on the subject? It seems pretty apparent that you had your mind made up about the matter beforehand, and only posted this as a means to ignite tempers, and begin the personal attacks yourself, as seen in the 5th response.

mcbealer's avatar

@dpworkin ~ from that article “mosquitoes are not flying hypodermic needles” hilarious visual… my first LOL of the day… thanks!

mote's avatar

There is but one definitive answer to this question.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

@davidbetterman I’m afraid that I can only talk from the point of view of a simple country Biochemist, but I can tell you that mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV.

You mock people for supposedly putting no thought into this, however I ask you this, what thought have you put into it?

I am all for scepticism, but you have to have a theory, some pathway through which you believe this may happen so that it may be tested. Come up with that and I will listen to you.

Oh, and on top of the PubMed link you were given earlier, when you draw a blank from that you may want to try Science Direct and Scirus . When you draw a blank from those, Wikipedia may be your last hope.

davidbetterman's avatar

@ModernEpicurian Do you know who funded these studies?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@davidbetterman Do you think there’s some mysterious AIDS corporation out there funding false studies so that mosquitoes can keep doing the dirty work of spreading AIDS for them?

Do you know who funded studies that support your opinion?

ModernEpicurian's avatar

@davidbetterman I didn’t mention any studies, did you read my message or were you just very rude?

dpworkin's avatar

It’s difficult to understand the dynamic here. At first I thought the spleen was being directed at me. I see that @davidbetterman is an equal-opportunity despiser. Could this have to do with cryptic homophobia?

TexasDude's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities, I hear talk that Halliburton is perfecting an AIDS machine

escapedone7's avatar

I’ve never heard of a mosquito giving aids either. I have heard of a bad dentist who didn’t clean his equipment spreading it. (shiver). The sites linked so far seem to settle any worry about it in my mind. Makes sense to me.

Mosquitos can and do spread other diseases though, such as west nile virus. I also worry about tick born diseases such as lyme disease. So, even though I am not worried about AIDS, I still wear mosquito repellent in the summer anyway. I worry about the toxicity of the spray though.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin “Could this have to do with cryptic homophobia?”

I had no idea that you and the other bois here are gay.

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman I’m still waiting for your data…. I have a sneaky feeling that I’ll be waiting indefinitely.

In any event, even IF mosquitos could serve as a vector for HIV, the contribution of mosquito borne transmission would be miniscule compared to the bodily-fluid borne transmission through sex, IV drug use and maternal-fetal contact. What is the ulterior motive of this question, especially in light of your persistent arguing against the legitimately informed responses above?

syz's avatar

Guys! Stop feeding the troll!

It has to be troll behavior, no one can possibly be that obtuse (to phrase it nicely).

judochop's avatar

@davidbetterman
I hear you can also get AIDS from sitting on a public toilet seat. It’s true!!
here is teh proof

davidbetterman's avatar

@syz Just because someone disagrees with a whole passel of jellies does not a troll him make. Just go along and side with the others. It is interesting to see who does not think for themselves.
@judochop LOL

fireinthepriory's avatar

@davidbetterman What would convince you that mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV?

Arisztid's avatar

@shilolo laid it at your feet, @davidbetterman .

Let’s see your proof.

davidbetterman's avatar

@shilolo @dpworkin Lovely links…all propaganda from back in the 80s. If it were true that mosquitoes’ powerful digestive enzymes quickly eliminate the AIDS/HIV virus then why have we not developed a similar chemical to kill off the virus?
“studies conducted by the CDC and elsewhere have shown no evidence of HIV transmission from mosquitoes or any other insects…”
CDC is suspect as being one of the groups who fostered and spread the disease in the 1st place.

Likeradar's avatar

So, to answer my question, @davidbetterman, no, you can’t.

Carry on.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

@davidbetterman
Wow. Just Wow.
So, you believe that HIV was created by a pharm. company and then fostered it’s spread via mosquitoes?
Wow.
If you knew ANYTHING about the virus and its biochemical attributes you would know that this could not be the case, purely based upon the state of the tech involved in the orchestration of such a plan.
We have not long solved the structure of this virus, never mind how to design something that is this complex and intelligent.
Wow.
I can’t believe just how well you can sit in a state of ignorance yet try to stand as though with superiority.

shilolo's avatar

Ok, I’ll bite. You seem to have little to no expertise in medical/pharmaceutical matters, yet portend to know how to design a cure for HIV. Let’s say, modeling the digestive enzymes of the mosquito (by the way, if you or I swallow HIV, our digestive system would kill it too), we design an enzyme or chemical to destroy HIV. Do you know that HIV can actually integrate into the human genome (meaning, it’s part of our DNA.)? Will your new drug kill the integrated virus too (that would be a very neat trick)? How would it do that? Would your drug just attack the outer envelope lipid bilayer, it’s out membrane proteins, or the core proteins? What would happen to the RNA? What would happen to the infected cells? Would it be toxic? Would the virus become resistant to it, as it has to other HIV drugs? How do we give it to people? Orally? IV? IM?

Oh, wait, it’s all so simple. What a bunch of dopes those pharmaceutical scientists are, always missing the easy things.

Brian1946's avatar

@davidbetterman

“CDC is suspect as being one of the groups who fostered and spread the disease in the 1st place.”

What evidence do you have of that or what was the CDC’s alleged motive?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Citing the CDC as a conspiracy to spread hiv/aids should be enough to discredit this whole stance.

dpworkin's avatar

I actually like @davidbetterman better as a wack-job than as a troll or a mean person. More human.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin I like you better as a wack-job too, hun.

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman Still waiting…. Where’s your minimal shred of evidence? Not available? Surprise…

I think I know what’s going on. @davidbetterman isn’t quite capable of understanding science, so, much like the deniers of evolution, makes up magical fantasies such as the one about a CDC based conspiracy. Indeed, it seems that the asker of this magical (and quite fantastic) question about Dracula and AIDS had more insight than the OP.

Response moderated
shilolo's avatar

Once again, please, provide some shred of evidence for your hypothesis. A rigorous, creative, critical thinker such as yourself should have absolutely no problem with this exercise. Why is it that every single one of your quips is the same (i.e. it’s either a varient of “you are all brainwashed, you cannot think, etc. etc.”, an ad hominem attack, or both)? By all means, provide an alternative set of data that isn’t simply conjecture.

davidbetterman's avatar

What evidence do you think there isfor this sort of conspiracy? Are you really that stupid?

shilolo's avatar

@davidbetterman I now know who you really are (and who your former accounts were). Times, they are a changing, and soon.

Response moderated
augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted and have been removed.

TexasDude's avatar

You want creativity? I’ll give you creativity…

AIDS was invented by Prescott Bush as a weapon to use against FDR in the planned Millionaire’s Rebellion, but the formula (which was provided by the descendants of Mayan prophets) was lost to the ages only to be rediscovered by Ronald Reagan, who wanted to use it against the Russkies if Star Wars didn’t work, but he was senile, so Nancy took the formula (after accidentally spilling a bit of it in a certain bar in New York) and stored it away in Area 51 where a young Dick Cheney was being built. He was injected every day with the AIDS from an early age so he would develop an immunity to it as part of the secret plan to build the ultimate hippy-killing machine. He soon grew addicted to the delicious, sickly sweet flavor of teh AIDS and decided, by the age of 30, that he would spread the AIDS to everyone, because everyone should relish in its AIDSey flavor. So that’s when he built the first Haliburton Aids machine (after the failure of the Haliburton weather machine that caused Hurricane Katrina). This machine injects a special mosquito-spit resistant strand of AIDS into mosquitoes before releasing them into the wild where they will spread AIDS to all of us and enslave us all for 10,000 years or until 2012 (which George Bush totally has a part in), whichever comes first. Oh, and he paid off all the evil science corporations with some of his own evil corporation money, so they can continue to sit in their corporation buildings and be all corporationy and tell us stupid peons that we can’t get AIDS from mosquitoes until the ultimate day of reckoning, upon which his mosquitoes will be released and we all will be AIDSified by them because we thought we were safe, and then George Bush will declare martial law and everyone will be forced to be a Christian and we will invade Iran and and and and and even our tinfoil won’t save us then!!1!!1!1!111

davidbetterman's avatar

Now that’s more like it, Fiddle Guy!

Brian1946's avatar

@davidbetterman

“What evidence do you think there isfor this sort of conspiracy? Are you really that stupid?”

I doubt that there is any evidence of that and your above post only fortifies that doubt.
I’m not really stupid enough to believe that there is a conspiracy without said evidence.

davidbetterman's avatar

You’re far too late @Brian1946

[mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted and have been removed.”

Nice try though.

Likeradar's avatar

edited by me for wasting my own damn time

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