Apple infected with HIV? Debunked!

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Apple infected with HIV? Debunked!

Urban legend strikes once more with another FB post circulating about an apple allegedly stained with blood infected with HIV. Days ago, I have seen that it has been circulating in my news feed with some of my friends, who obviously are not quite aware of HIV, reacting too much with the scenario of this apple with HIV. Well, I can’t blame them in the first place, though. The have the valid reasons of doing so. But the validity of the reasons is coated in myths that we all must debunk right away.

 

This was the post from an FB user named Vienly Jane Cuaresma Noche:

 

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Photo from philippinesdaily.org

How come Vienly was able to know that the blood is infected with HIV? Did she have the blooded tested for rapid testing that’s why she was able to know that it has HIV in the first place? Debunked!

 

Let me give you 4 reasons why you need to debunk such story and prove how tainted the stigma towards HIV in the Philippines is.

 

1. It has many versions but no evidence at all.

Stories like these have been passed on for quite some time now. Last time we also featured about an alleged AMV student in Recto who got infected with HIV from a “syringe plunged into her arm with a note ‘Welcome to the HIV world.’”  The reason behind: HIV is a highly stigmatized disease in the Philippines (and in the entire world). These stories might sound familiar to you:

  • HIV-positive blood injected to a sachet of ketchup.
  • Injecting AIDS-infected blood onto unsuspecting moviegoers.
  • An HIV-positive fruit vendor whose finger was pricked and blood stayed with the fruit he peeled and sold that infected a buyer when it was eaten.

 

These are some of the “horror stories” about HIV that have been passed on over and over that proved itself hoax. Yet, makes other people not aware of how HIV works fear more and more. Leaving HIV a highly stigmatized diseases. Even towards the people who have it or the PLHIV when, in fact, they are not doing anything that merit them such hate.

 

2. Window Period and HIV doesn’t apply to an apple

For an HIV-infected individual, the window period is a common term used for the time between the initial HIV infection (the acute infection) and the development of a measurable immunologic (or antibody) response to the infection. During this period, a person infected with HIV could still have a negative HIV test result.
Within this time frame, however, HIV is replicating in the blood and lymph nodes. The virus can be detected in this early phase only by laboratory tests used to identify the virus itself.

 

The window period varies from person to person and can range from as little as two weeks to as long as
three months. Thus, if a person tests negative to HIV antibody tests, he or she may still be within the
window period; if infected, that person’s immune system has not yet begun making a detectable amount
of antibodies against the virus. A person in the window period will test positive for HIV only if a virological test is used.

– HCT Handbook

 

Fact: HIV needs CD4+ cells to proliferate. Thus, it must be inside a host for it to be effective. An apple cannot be a host.

 

3. Blood coagulates. What more in a syringe setting injected in an apple?

 

Anyone who had experienced extracting blood using a syringe would know that after a few minutes, as the blood clots, it would be hard to anyone to push it out of the syringe. 1 out of 200 coincidence? I don’t think this is one. Add up that it was injected to an apple.

 

4. Survivability of HIV

In HIV counseling, counselors are well aware of the four principles of HIV and STI transmission or commonly known as ESSE (Exit, Survive, Sufficient, Entry). Thus, when blood is exposed to air (clots) the cells dry out and gets ruptured, destroying its contents, including any HIV it contains. Remember that HIV needs a live host cell for it to survive.

 

Again, an apple cannot be a host.

 

Possible answer

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Photo from philippinesdaily.org

While the scenario spreading like wildfire can be possible—in the most isolated case there is, let us be more inquisitive about the things that we see online. Not all of it is true. Especially for a very sensitive case like HIV, spreading misinformation like this can only worsen the stigma that we have today. Let us all think of our faceless and nameless brothers and sisters who succumbed to the traps of HIV and those who have it but are still living a quality life.

 

If you think this article made a little change in how you see HIV in a positive way, please share this out and let’s tell our community how it works so in the near future we will no longer have this stigma towards it. And maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference.

 

You don’t need to be HIV-positive to join this cause. You just need to be human.

 

Apple infected with HIV? Debunked!

Joemar Belleza
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Joemar Belleza

Blogger-In-Chief at Bakla Po Ako, Confirmed!
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!.Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!
Joemar Belleza
Follow me

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About Joemar Belleza 311 Articles
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!. Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!

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