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No, Pepsi has not been contaminated with HIV

Has Pepsi been contaminated by HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus?

No, but that’s the claim in a post published on Facebook in South Africa in September 2017 and shared 80,000 times so far.

It warns: “For the next few weeks do not drink any product from Pepsi, as a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with HIV(AIDS). It was shown yesterday on Sky news. Please forward this message to the people you care about.”


Post debunked in 2011

Fact-checking site Snopes rated the claim false as far back as July 2011.

Snopes said no incident of food being contaminated with HIV-infected blood or semen had been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And the CDC has received no reports of HIV infection from people eating or drinking anything.

The post was also rated false by Politifact in January 2019. They said: “Sky News did not respond to an email asking if the network had aired a segment, like the Facebook post claims, but we couldn’t find any evidence of such a story on its website. In fact, we couldn’t find any credible articles about this so-called ‘urgent message’.”

It has also been rated as false by Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper.

You can’t get HIV from food

And the CDC confirms that you can’t get HIV from eating food handled by someone with HIV.

“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.”

As POZ, a website for people living with HIV, emphasises: “Repeat after me: You can’t get HIV from food!- Jennifer Ojugbeli (29/05/19)


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