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Rumor: AIDS / HIV+ Blood in Pepsi Cola

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As posted on Facebook, Sep. 16, 2013:
Pepsi Contaminated with AIDS blood

Netlore Archive: Rumor circulating via text message and social media claims Pepsi products have been purposely tainted with HIV-positive blood.

Via Facebook

Description: Rumor / Hoax
Circulating since: July 2011
Status: FALSE (see details below)


Example #1:
As posted on Facebook, Sep. 16, 2013:

There's news from the police. Its an urgent message for all. For next few days don't drink any product from pepsi company's like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up etc. A worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with AIDS.. Watch MDTV. please forward this to everyone on your list.


Example #2:
As posted on Facebook, Nov. 29, 2011:

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM DELHI POLICE.... 4 next NEXT FEW DAY DNT DRINK ANY PRODUCT FROM PEPSI, TROPICANA JUICE SLICE, 7UP, COCA COLA, ETC , AS A WORKER FROM D COMPANY HAS ADDED HIS BLOOD CONTAMINATED WIT AIDS. Watch ND TV. Plez Forward dis mesge to every 1 u care 4 plz


Example #3:
As posted on Facebook, Nov. 29, 2011:

Fyi,
This is the news from delhi Police..........
urgent and imp msgs for all please fwd this to all of them for whom you care, Msg: For next few days dont drink any product from pepsi company like pepsi.slice,Tropicana juice,7 up etc as a worker from the companys production dept has added his blood contiminated with Aids (HIV +ve) Watch Ndtv for more news


Example #4:
As posted on Facebook, July 23, 2011:

URGENT!!!!!! ALERT!!! Please DO NOT DRINK any PEPSI SODA, a worker from the company has put blood CONTAMINATED with AIDS inside the BOTTELS!!! Please forward this!! No jokes NOT taking any chances.... Check the news


Example #5:
As posted on Facebook, July 17, 2011:

News flash: A Pepsi worker put his HIV-infested blood in the mixer. So, please DO NOT drink any pepsi soda. Forward to everyone immediately!


Example #6:
As posted via Twitter, July 16, 2011:

I received a text saying please don't drink Pepsi a worker put his blood (HIV +) into some bottles. Be careful.



Analysis: Sound familiar? Different versions of the same rumor have made the rounds before, in 2004 and 2007-08. In those previous cases the food products allegedly contaminated with HIV-positive blood were ketchup and tomato sauce, but the status of the rumor was the same: false.

It's not that it's absolutely impossible for HIV-tainted blood or other bodily fluids to find their way, accidentally or on purpose, into foods and beverages; it's that according to the best scientific evidence available, the AIDS virus simply can't be transmitted that way.

Here's what the CDC says:

HIV does not live long outside the body. Even if small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen was consumed, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus. Therefore, there is no risk of contracting HIV from eating food.

According to a Centers for Disease Control fact sheet last updated in 2010, no incidents of food products being contaminated with HIV-infected blood or semen, and no incidents of HIV infection transmitted via food products, have ever been reported to the agency.


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See also:

Rumor: HIV+ Blood in Ketchup Dispenser
Urban Legends, 26 November 2008

Rumor: HIV+ Blood in Tomato Sauce Dispenser
Urban Legends, 26 November 2008


Sources and further reading:

HIV Transmission: Questions & Answers
Centers for Disease Control, 25 March 2010


Last updated 09/17/13

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