Many people ask questions like Can mosquitoes transmit HIV as it spreads other diseases like malaria, chikungunya, dengue? The simple answer is no.
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals on the planet. They kill thousands of people across the world by mosquito-borne diseases like malaria parasites, zika virus, chikungunya virus, lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile virus(WNV), yellow fever, dengue, and many others. Many parts of the world are affected by different Mosquito-borne diseases among these. So many people think that if mosquitoes can cause so many diseases why can’t HIV. But the truth is that they can’t spread or transmit HIV to human beings. So here are some points to understand between mosquitoes and HIV transmission by them.
Why mosquitoes can’t transmit HIV to human:
So, let’s understand mainly three points about why mosquitoes can’t transmit HIV to humans.
- Full form of HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the name itself suggest that it only infect human. After entering into the human body HIV cannot replicate or reproduce on its own. So in order to make new copies or children of itself, HIV must infect the cells of the immune system of humans. These immune system cells are CD4 cells which are white blood cells that play the main role in fighting against infections entering into the body.
So here is the difference in the biology of humans and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t have CD4 cells or receptors that HIV needs to recognize and infect human cells. So after sucking the blood of HIV infected person the viruses are completely digested or destroyed in mosquito gut or stomach in lack of CD4 cells and receptors that HIV needs to bind.
- The second point is the sucking or feeding mechanism of mosquitoes. They have a needle-like structure known as proboscis which has two tubes. One tube is used to sucks blood and another tube is used for injecting saliva to humans. Mosquitoes don’t use the same tube for both proposes, sucking blood and injecting saliva. This means they only inject saliva into the human body, not the blood, and HIV can’t be transmitted through saliva.
- Come to the 3rd point. Let’s assume that after the bite to HIV infected person, mosquitoes proboscis is stained with blood, and the same mosquito bites to another person. What happens in this case. In this case also it is not possible to transmit HIV from HIV infected persons to others. Because HIV isn’t very contagious. It takes a large amount of the viruses to be transmitted from one to another person. Again if there is a possibility to transmit HIV in such a way, they have to get more than 1 million bites in order to enter HIV into your body and it is difficult for one mosquito to bite as many times.
How HIV is transmitted?
Now it is clear that mosquitoes can’t transmit or spread HIV. HIV virus is transmitted through direct contact with certain body fluids of HIV infected person.
These Fluids includes:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluids,
- Vaginal fluid,
- Breast milk,
- Rectal fluid
- And pregnancy can also transmit HIV from an infected pregnant mother to her child. But this can be prevented by proper antiretroviral therapy. So consult HIV specialist for proper guidance if you have HIV infection.
Also read: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
Can coronavirus spread through mosquito bite?
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is mainly a respiratory disease. It spreads through droplets in the air while sneezing, coughing, or through droplets of saliva and nasal discharge or fluid. At present there is no data or evidence is there that suggests Coronavirus can spread through a mosquito bite.
So keep hand clean by frequent washing with soap and water or alcohol-based handwash, avoid touching to face especially the nose, eyes, and mouth. Keep social distancing and follow the guideline of the health ministry of your country to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
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