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Can Mosquitoes Spread HIV or AIDS?

Mosquitoes are infamous for transmitting dangerous diseases. But what happens when a mosquito bites someone who is HIV-positive? Thankfully, mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV or AIDS. This is due to both the biology of the mosquito and of HIV itself:

  • 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, HIV cannot be transmitted through the bite.
  • Even if a mosquito has HIV in its body when it bites, it would not be enough to infect. The virus disappears in the mosquito after just one or two days.
Mosquito on skin | can mosquito bites transmit HIV or AIDS

Do Mosquitoes Transfer Blood?

No. Mosquitoes only ever remove blood from a person. They do not inject it or circulate it.  This is due to the design of their unique proboscis. Made up of two tubes, one sends saliva into the host while the other sucks up blood. 

This two-tube system is why mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV, which spreads through infected blood. Any HIV-positive blood ingested by a mosquito is thus impossible to transmit to another host.

How Long Does HIV Live in a Mosquito?

When a mosquito bites an HIV-positive individual, 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. The virus will disappear in just 1-2 days, which is the time required for a mosquito to digest the blood.

Have Mosquitoes Ever Transmitted HIV?

Research has 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 mosquitoes and diseases, it’s important to focus on the many vector-borne diseases they carry and spread – not the ones they don’t.

Bottom line: You do not need to worry about mosquitoes transmitting HIV.

Can Mosquitoes Transmit HIV or AIDS in Central Tennessee

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