Fact Check: Did an employee mix HIV+ blood in your cold drink?

Quick Take

Multiple posts on social media claim that an employee had mixed HIV+ blood in Pepsi during production. The message asks readers not to drink Pepsi for few weeks. We fact-check the claim and find it to be False.

The Claim

The claim reads, “For next few days don’t drink any product from pepsi company’s like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up etc. A worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with AIDS..

The claim has been published on social media and circulated on WhatsApp for over many years. Archived version of the posts can be seen here and a snapshot is given below.

Fact Check

Is the news true?

No. The message has been circulated since years now. It doesn’t have a time stamp attached with it. So, next few days or weeks has no relevance.

The post has also been shared in different language across multiple countries. While it is difficult to track the exact location of origin of this rumour, it also makes the claim irrelevant.

Moreover, the claim has been circulated not only about Pepsi Co. and its products but also about products of various other soft drinks makers.

In 2013, a message purporting to be from Delhi Police, was circulated claiming that Frooti has HIV+ blood in it. Following this the company released a press statement clarifying that the claim is false.

Some of these messages that even showed an arrested company employee has been proven fake over years. The image was apparently of a Nigerian terrorist when he was arrested by police.

Can I become HIV+ after drinking a cold drinks that has infected blood?

No. HIV virus does not spread through foods, even if it is infected with blood.

The website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions, ‘You can’t get HIV from consuming 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.’

The website of World Health Organization (WHO) says, ‘HIV can be transmitted via the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.

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