Can Mosquitoes Transmit HIV or AIDS?
Mosquitoes are infamous for spreading threatening diseases. This is due to their ability to contract diseases by drawing the blood of an infected human or animal. This raises the question: what happens when a mosquito bites someone who is HIV-positive? Fortunately, mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV or AIDS. This is attributable to both the make-up of the mosquito and of HIV itself:
- Mosquitoes cannot become infected with HIV, so they are unable to transmit it.
- A mosquito’s proboscis has two tubes: one to draw blood from its host and the other to inject certain chemicals into their bloodstream. Because no blood is injected into the host, HIV cannot be transmitted through the bite.
- Even if a mosquito has HIV in its body when it bites a host, it would not have enough of the virus to infect a human. The virus disappears in mosquitoes after just a day or two.
Do Mosquitoes Transmit Blood?
Although mosquitoes draw blood, they do not inject their own or circulate anything back into you. This is due to the structure and function of their proboscis. It is made up of two tubes, one of which sends saliva into the host while the other sucks up blood. This two-tube system prevents mosquitoes from transmitting HIV, which is passed through infected blood, not saliva. Any HIV-positive blood ingested by a mosquito cannot be transmitted to another host.
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How Long Does HIV Survive in a Mosquito?
When a mosquito draws the blood of an HIV-positive person, the virus will disappear from their system in just 1-2 days, which is the length of their digestion process. This is because of HIV’s inability to replicate within the mosquito’s gut, unlike humans, in which HIV binds to T-cells. Any HIV ingested is completely destroyed during the process of digestion.
Have Mosquitoes Ever Passed On HIV?
Bottom line: you should not be concerned about mosquitoes transmitting this virus. Research has proven that an individual would have to be targeted by millions of mosquitoes that all had contracted the virus for even a single unit of HIV to be passed on. When it comes to mosquitoes and disease prevention, it’s important to hone in on the vector-borne diseases that they are proven to carry and spread.