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No, monkeypox is not ‘vaccine-acquired Aids’ – ‘Vaids’ is not real

“Monkeypox is VAIDS. Look at the pics below,” begins a Facebook post published on 22 May 2022. 

The post includes three photos showing people with lesions on their skin. The caption says: “1st - Pic is monkeypox in Africa, 2nd - Pic is AIDS, 3rd - Pic is what the first person this year that got monkeypox looks like.”

 “Also the other internal symptoms are identical too,” the post ends. 

Monkeypox is a viral disease that was first detected in a group of monkeys and is similar to smallpox. Multiple countries across Europe and North America where monkeypox is not endemic have reported new cases to the World Health Organization since 12 May. 

Do these photos prove that monkeypox is actually acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or Aids? And what is “Vaids”? We checked. 


Photos show shingles and acne 

A reverse image search shows only one of the images in the post is of an actual case of monkeypox.

The first image is of a child with monkeypox. The photo appears on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website in an article about the history of monkeypox. 

The CDC’s caption does not include information on who the child is or where the photo was taken but the implication is that it was taken in either west or central Africa. 

The second image is of a person with shingles. The same photo was used to illustrate an article about the disease. Shingles is a viral, infectious disease, caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. 

The third image shows a person with back and shoulder acne. It has been circulating online since at least 2019 – long before the 2022 monkeypox outbreak. 

VAIDS ‘absolutely not’ a real condition, say experts

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it more vulnerable to infection. If left untreated, it can result in Aids, which is the late stage of an HIV infection where the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus. 

People with HIV are at a higher risk of developing infections from diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and shingles

Social media posts claiming that vaccine-acquired Aids or “Vaids” exists as a side-effect of the Covid-19 vaccines have been debunked by health experts

Dr Stephen Gluckman, professor of infectious diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, told Reuters that “Vaids” is “absolutely not” a real condition. He added that there is no evidence of immunodeficiency as a result of Covid-19 vaccines.

Monkeypox is a different virus from HIV and was first identified in lab monkeys in 1958. The first human case of monkeypox was identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. HIV/Aids was only first identified in 1981.

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