Q: Hi Doc. Please I just read a post by a friend and was a bit confused. He said a pineapple seller who has HIV mistakenly cut his finger while cutting the pineapple and later someone that bought and ate it was diagnosed of the virus. So he is warning people against junk food and even eating out. Please how true is this!
A: This story has been making the rounds of the rumour mills since the early 2000s. The food/fruit has changed as it has circulated 😀 Is there any truth to this? No! Be careful about the pocket doctors who you listen to. Click on this link to read more about pocket doctors 😀
Thus far, there is no documented evidence that eating food contaminated with HIV can cause the infection or AIDS. The virus is just too fickle for this to happen. It dies too quickly and loses its ability to divide and multiply outside the human body. The added complication posed by the acidic juices in the stomach means that the viruses don’t stand a chance 😀 The one food-related HIV transmission occurred when an HIV positive care-giver pre-chewed some food and then fed same to an infant. So, if you practice this, with or without HIV, please just stop. It’s not hygienic…if we were to just discuss this from first principles, right?
There is however, some evidence that oral contact with body fluids can lead to HIV. Ths is rare and usually involved sexual contact.
However, I am totally with at least one part of his campaign. The one against junk food. We have talked about the way the white carbs of junk food make blood sugar jump up and down. Immediately they are eaten, the blood sugar increases and this causes insulin to be released so that the sugar is taken into the cells and very quickly too. This is done so efficiently that within moments of eating these snacks, one feels hungry again. This starts a vicious cycle of eating more and then more and then some more 😀 Before long, obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension et al come calling.
As for eating out, we may not be able to completely cut that out. And really there’s nothing wrong with doing that. The focus should be on not using that opportunity to binge. Being served a larger than normal portion of food than you would normally eat, is not an invitation to finish it. Eat slowly and once you sense that you are satisfied, please stop. Very handy advice as the round of weekend parties start, right? 😀 Related posts that discuss this can be read by clicking on these links:
Remember that you can now get your daily health tips from Dr Ketch on the go by sending WELLNESS to 33118. This service is only available on the MTN network in Nigeria for now and costs N50 for 2 weeks.
Have a great one, people 😀