A viral rumor has been circulating since 2004, that a worker put HIV-infected blood into a cola company’s products. The rumor is — a complete hoax — but read on to find out the details , how it got started, and the facts of the matter, according to health officials.
A post was shared, on Facebook on Sept. 16, 2013, about the rumor of alleging HIV-infected cola:
There’s news from the police. It’s an urgent message for all. For next few days don’t drink any product from Pepsi companies like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up etc. A worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with AIDS.. Watch MDTV. Please forward this to everyone on your list.
Same rumor made the rounds, in 2004, and again in 2007-2008. In those previous instances, the food products affected with HIV-positive blood were ketchup and tomato sauce, but the status of the claim was the same: false.
No authentic sources, media or governmental, have reported any such occurrence. Even if such an incident had occurred, it would not have resulted in the spread of AIDS, according to medical experts.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains it:
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.
A CDC reported that the agency has never documented any incidents of food or beverage products affected with HIV-infected blood or semen, or incidents of HIV infection transmitted through food or beverage products.
An Old Hoax:
As recently as 2017, the OLD HOAX resurfaced — this time in a viral rumor posted on. Aug 21 of that year. The post, which appeared on the website of Washington, D.C., television station WUSA 9, reads in part:
WUSA9 News was contacted by several viewers by the text message being shared on social media as a warning. The message reads: Important message from Metropolitan Police to all citizen of United Kingdom.
“For the next few weeks do not drink any products from Pepsi, as a worker from the company has added blood contaminated with HIV (AIDS). It was shown yesterday on Sky News. Please forward this message to the people who you care.”
WUSA9 News researchers contacted United Kingdom Department of Health Media & Campaigns Executive, Lauren Martens who confirmed the message is a hoax and also not shown on Sky News. Martens also said Metropolitan Police did not have any issued statement about this message.
The television station also contacted the CDC, which said that you can’t get HIV “from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person.” WUSA also contacted PepsiCo spokesperson Aurora Gonzalez from who called story an “old hoax.”