Mosquitoes and HIV/AIDS
One of the major concerns or topics involving HIV transmission is acquiring the said virus through an insect bite, especially mosquitoes. While some may think they can acquire the infection from the said host, the transmission rate is very low. Yes, it’s true that mosquitoes play a role in having different kinds of diseases, such as Zika fever and malaria. Through this insect, people can be infected with bacteria or viruses, to name a few. However, it isn’t the same with the human immunodeficiency virus.
People acquire HIV only through transmission involving bodily fluids, most especially if these fluids have a high concentration of the virus. There have been studies recorded stating the minimal chance of a certain individual of having the infection triggered by a mosquito bite. While this kind of insect vector is the culprit of other worldly or deadly diseases, it doesn’t have to be similar to HIV or AIDS. This fear proved to be insignificant even in areas of high incidence for AIDS and in the areas where mosquitoes’ infestations are poorly controlled.
Why can’t insects, such as mosquitoes, transmit or spread HIV?
The following list tackles the different reasons why mosquitoes are not considered important vectors of HIV transmission:
- While sucking blood from humans or from its hosts, mosquitoes utilize two different ways – (1) blood suction and (2) injection involving anticoagulants and saliva, which is used to transfer blood from their hosts to their mouths. This process or action does not involve a direct transmission.
- The survival rate of HIV depends on direct transmission from one host to another. For mosquitoes, it’s totally different. The virus isn’t capable of surviving in a mosquitoes’ gut.
- Since a mosquito is small, the amount of viruses they can contain would be very low. Note that there should be a good amount of HIV within the blood for the person to be diagnosed with the infection.
- Mosquitoes do not have the kind of cells involving CD4+ receptors. This base alone does not make them the culprit of HIV spread and transmission.
Factors to consider regarding HIV transmission
The following states the factors and conditions required involving possible HIV transmission:
- As mentioned, a high concentration of HIV is contained in certain bodily fluids, such as blood, breast milk, vaginal secretions, and semen. Only within these fluids can HIV survive.
- Direct contact involving the mentioned bodily fluids. For example, irresponsible drug use and utilizing shared syringes or needles that are contaminated with infected blood. Another transmission is unsafe sex, where secretion or contaminated semen are involved.
- The amount of virus contained in the blood must reach ID50. This dose is infectious enough to spread and enable someone to be diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus.
With all the details and information procured here, we can conclude that someone will not get infected with the virus through a mosquito bite. They did not pass the needed requirement for possible HIV transmission. As the factors of the transmission have already been listed, it is now your responsibility to remain safe and healthy.