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Can Mosquitoes Transmit HIV or AIDS?

Mosquitoes are widely known for passing dangerous diseases to humans. This is due to the fact that mosquitoes are vectors – organisms that transfer diseases between the hosts that they contract them from. This raises the question: what happens when a mosquito bites someone who is HIV-positive?

Fortunately, mosquitoes do not transmit HIV or AIDS. This fact can be attributed to both the biology of the mosquito and of HIV itself:

  • Mosquitoes can contract the HIV virus, but are unable to become infected with it, and thus cannot transmit it.
  • A mosquito’s proboscis has two tubes: one to suck blood from its host and the other to inject saliva into the point of extraction. Since no blood is injected into the host, HIV will not be transmitted.
  • Even if a mosquito is carrying HIV when it finds a new host, it would not have enough in its system to infect a person. The virus dies out in the mosquito’s system after just a few days.

Can Mosquitoes Transmit Blood?

Although mosquitoes draw blood from animals, they do not return any foreign blood into the body. This is due to the aforementioned two-tube proboscis system. HIV does not live in saliva, so it will not travel through the saliva that mosquitoes inject into us. As such, any HIV-positive blood ingested by a mosquito cannot be transmitted to a new host.

How Long Can A Mosquito Carry HIV For?

When a mosquito bites an HIV-positive individual, the virus will likely be gone in about two days, which is around the amount of time required for a mosquito to process the blood through its digestive system. HIV is unable to replicate within the mosquito’s body, unlike humans, in which HIV sticks to our T-cells. As the mosquito digests the blood, any HIV that may be there is destroyed.

Have Mosquitoes Ever Transmitted HIV?

You can rest assured that mosquitoes will not, and have never, transmitted HIV. Research has shown that someone would have to be bitten by millions of mosquitoes, all of which were carrying the virus, for even a lone unit of HIV to be passed on. It is important to focus our concern on the diseases that mosquitoes are proven to spread and that threaten the lives of many across the world. 

Can Mosquitoes Transmit HIV or AIDS? in El Paso TX

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