Circulating warning messages claim that people are injecting HIV-infected blood into bananas so you should not eat bananas that contain a red colour inside. One version, which is presented as a ‘breaking news’ report from CNN, claims that bananas in an Oklahoma Walmart store have tested positive for HIV. Another version claims that the supposed contamination is the work of Satanists.
The claims in the messages are untrue. The messages are just absurd hoaxes with no basis in fact. Sharing these nonsensical warnings will help nobody.
According to would be warning messages that are circulating via social media and various fake-news reports, people are injecting HIV-infected blood into bananas so you should not eat bananas that contain a red colour inside. In one version, health authorities have supposedly discovered that about one million bananas originating from Guatemala have been contaminated with the HIV-infected blood.
The original messages are in Spanish. However, there are also some English versions that have been poorly translated from the original Spanish. Some of the messages include an image supposedly depicting blood being injected into a banana.
Another version claims that Satanists are injecting HIV-infected blood into the “fruit” with the aim of killing millions of people around the world.
However, the messages are just absurd hoaxes. There are no credible news or health authority reports that confirm the claims in the messages in any way. If such a major contamination problem were true, news outlets all around the world would have covered it extensively. And, of course, there would be official government health warnings for people in potentially affected regions.
A more recent version, which is presented as a ‘breaking news’ report from CNN, claims that bananas in an Oklahoma Walmart store have tested positive for HIV. The message features a photograph of a banana with a red discolouration on one end. But, this version is also false. The false report comes from a fake-news website, which, despite the name and logo, is in no way associated with CNN.
And, in any case, the claims have no scientific credibility whatsoever. HIV does not live for long outside of the body. Both exposure to air and stomach acids kill the virus. Therefore, even if bananas had been injected with blood from a person who is HIV positive, there is virtually no chance that a person who later ate one of the bananas would become infected.
In an article about HIV transmission, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes:
You can’t get HIV from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person. Even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.
Though it is very rare, HIV can be spread by eating food that has been pre-chewed by an HIV-infected person. The contamination occurs when infected blood from a caregiver’s mouth mixes with food while chewing. The only known cases are among infants.
The bogus warning is just an updated version of an earlier and equally nonsensical warning that falsely claimed that oranges from Libya were being injected with HIV infected blood. In fact, there have been a number of Internet hoaxes that have claimed that various types of food and beverages have been deliberately contaminated with HIV.
Sharing such nonsense does nothing other than spread fear and alarm and add to the many myths and misconceptions about AIDS and HIV. If you receive one of these bogus warning messages, do not share it with others. And ensure that you let the original poster know that the claims in the message are untrue.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!