HOAX-ALERT: Nigerian bomber didn’t infect Cadbury’s chocolate with HIV!

Did Babes Wodumo break it down on the dance floor with former South African president Jacob Zuma? And are enterprising South African criminals using nail-spiked oranges to hijack motorists?

Africa Check senior researcher, Kate Wilkinson, busted these hoaxes when she spoke to Power FM’s Iman Rappetti on Thursday about how to fact-check viral images.

During the discussion, a listener tweeted us an image for our closer inspection.

“Can @AfricaCheck verify this lie too?” Cyprian from Brits asked, leaving no doubt as to where he stood.

The attached image showed a man being arrested by Interpol officers. The accompanying text claimed that the man was HIV positive and had “added his infected blood to Cadbury products”.

“It was shown yesterday on BBC News,” it added. “Please forward the message to people who you care [sic].”

Two steps to find the truth

The story sounds far-fetched… but that’s never stopped Africa Check from sorting fact from fiction before. (See: Dead mermaids in a president’s swimming pool.)  

Here are the two steps we took to check if the story was true.

1. Google the story

We googled “hiv blood cadbury chocolate”, which quickly confirmed that this story was a hoax.  

“Claiming that various companies’ food products have somehow become contaminated with HIV/AIDS has been a prevalent form of hoax for many years, targeting foodstuffs from pineapples to canned goods to soft drinks,” fellow fact-checking website Snopes explained.

This claim relating to confectionery company, Cadbury, started appearing in 2018. It is a reworked hoax, having previously targeted Pepsi cold drinks.

“No warnings have been issued, nor any arrests made, in conjunction with a supposed HIV contamination of Cadbury products,” reported Snopes.

It’s also important to remember that HIV cannot survive outside the human body for long. The virus cannot be passed on in this way.   

2. Trace the image

The story turned out to be a hoax but where is the image from? We uploaded the image to Tineye.com to try trace the image back to its original source.

It picked up that the image was published with a story on Nigerian website Naija.com 3 years ago. It actually shows Aminu Ogwuche being extradited to Nigeria from South Sudan.

Ogwuche was accused of masterminding the 14 April 2014 bombing of a bus park in Nyanya, a suburb of Nigerian capital Abuja. The blast killed 71 people and injured 124 people.

Read our guide for more tips on verifying images on your smartphone. – 01/03/2018


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