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Can Mosquitoes Transmit HIV or AIDS?

As blood-sucking insects, it’s easy to see why some people may be worried about mosquitoes transmitting HIV or AIDs. However, this is not a possibility, even when mosquitoes feed on an infected person. Here’s why:

  • Mosquitoes are unable to become infected with HIV, 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 bite. Because only saliva is injected into the host, HIV cannot be transmitted through the bite.
  • In the rare case a mosquito has HIV in its body when it bites a host, there would not be enough to infect. The virus disappears in the mosquito after just one or two days.
Mosquito sucking blood off human up close

Do Mosquitoes Transfer Blood When They Bite?

Even though mosquitoes bite in order to feed on your blood, they do not inject or circulate and blood back into you. This is thanks to their unique proboscis that is made up of two tubes: one tube sends saliva into the host while the other sucks up blood. This two-tube system is why mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV, which is transmitted through infected blood. Any HIV-positive blood ingested by a mosquito is thus impossible to transmit to another host.

Do Mosquitoes Carry HIV?

When mosquitoes bite an individual that has HIV, the virus will disappear in just 1-2 days, which is the time required for a mosquito to digest the blood. This is because HIV is unable to replicate within the mosquito’s gut, unlike humans in which HIV binds to T cells. It is during the mosquito’s digestion process that any HIV ingested is completely destroyed.

Are Mosquitoes Able to Transmit HIV?

The good news is that you do not need to worry about mosquitoes transmitting HIV. Researchers have done the work to prove proven that an individual would have to be bitten by 10 million mosquitoes that all had been feeding on an HIV carrier for even a single unit of HIV to be transmitted. When it comes to mosquito-borne disease, it’s important to focus on the dangerous diseases these pests are linked to.

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