Friday, August 25, 2006

Rumor about AIDS...

got recent FWD from friends about AIDS spreading via pineapple to 10year old boy.
thought publishing my reply would be useful to someone..:

if you behave with ethics & values or with common-sense then nothing to worry about. also, you share responsibility to educate your co-workers, your society..

The summer of 2006 saw a rumour similar to the panipuri/pineapple one at work in the off-line world. Police in Qufu, China, were called upon to investigate a story that someone had injected watermelons grown in Fanji (a town in the Linquan county) with HIV-tainted blood. Linquan watermelons normally fetch higher prices than do those from other regions, and the farmers in that area had earlier in the year registered a trademark and established an association to protect their pricier watermelon crops. Once afoot, the false story served to drive down the price of Linquan watermelons, and sales of the fruit quickly declined. As one Linquan farmer reported, prior to the rumor's appearance watermelons he'd harvested sold out, but after the rumor had spread only a small fraction of his crop was bought. Police suspect the whisper was started by someone looking to reap commercial benefit.

The rumor about HIV being passed to a ten-year-old boy via his eating of food items echoes a theme found in other urban legends, that of dread disease contracted by random innocent parties engaging in what should be safe activities — for example, AIDS acquired via a prick from a needle affixed to the handle of a gas pump, by ingesting HIV-laden blood added to restaurant ketchup dispensers, through eating pizza to which HIV-laden semen had been added; flesh-eating contagion passed on the skins of bananas imported from Costa Rica; and Weil's Disease contracted via soda cans encrusted with rat urine. Such rumors are society's way of expressing its disquiet about having to co-exist with dread contagion even in medically advanced times

HIV is not an airborne or food-borne virus, and it does not live long outside the body. Even if small amounts of HIV-infected blood were consumed, stomach acid would destroy the virus

If HIV could be passed on as easily as described in this warning, there would almost certainly be well-documented reports of such incidents. There are more than 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the world along with millions of food outlets of every description. Given these statistics, if it were possible for consumers to be infected with HIV via contaminated takeaway food, such infections would be quite common, and health authorities would advise restrictions for HIV positive food-service workers.

Thus, the claims in the message should not be taken seriously. In fact, this message is reminiscent of an earlier, and completely bogus, AIDS story that claims HIV infected blood has been deliberately placed in the ketchup dispensers of fast food outlets. Such stories serve no purpose other than to spread unnecessary fear and alarm and add to the many damaging misconceptions surrounding HIV and AIDS Bogus warnings such as this should not be passed on to others...

Please Live not in Fear but in FAITH...


Anonymous said...

HIV infected blood has been deliberately placed in the ketchup dispensers of fast food outlets!!


Duh! Another morphed story comin' up!