A hoax takes only a few daft individuals to set the world on fire. And the world is dense with such individuals as is evident by the fast paced manner in which facts and rumours spread. Of all the areas of concern to individuals, AIDS (which is an atom under the world’s health scanner) has also been used to spam people’s mind. There have been multiple AIDS hoaxes that have driven people to believe they were affected when they really weren’t. And that is why we believe being aware is being secure.
There was news streaming all over the internet claiming that AIDS-infected blood was being injected through a needle into moviegoers, people dancing at raves or bars, those strolling in the park, etc. The news warned people of AIDS-infected needles being stuck on the seats/benches in theatres/parks at different places that when a person sits on is likely to inject the virus into his/her body.
This hoax warned people to not drink Pepsi and other popular soft drinks because one of the workers at the giant’s factory contaminated the bottle with his HIV infected blood. This hoax was being spread in the form of mails and SMSs with the title “Important message from Delhi Police”. Several other hoaxes have followed up on this idea such as the popular e-mail that informed people of a man having placed his HIV-infected blood in a ketchup dispenser.
This hoax was spread mostly through e-mails which appeared to have been typed by an individual and about his unfortunate plight. The writer explained how using a payphone made him the victim of HIV. He reported to have pushed the coin into the machine following which a needle pricked his finger and he fell sick a night after. He further added that after diagnostic tests, he was found to be affected with HIV.
A news item in the Weekly World News reported that the CDC discovered a version of HIV that was mutated and was being circulated in the air inhaling which people could fall prey to the incurable disease. It is quite overwhelming that despite of the wide awareness about the fact that HIV cannot spread through water, air, insects or even casual contact with an HIV infected person, people were far spreading this hoax.
This hoax claims that when a child ate pineapple from a makeshift stall, he fell sick and was later diagnosed with AIDS. The e-mail makes its message appear more authentic by enlisting further account of incidences i.e. the visit of the hospital staff to the pineapple vendor and the discovery of the vendor’s finger having been cut while slicing the fruit, which thereby spread the virus.