Can I get HIV from mosquito bites?
No. HIV is not transmitted by mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas, bees or wasps.
If a bloodsucking insect bites someone with HIV, the virus dies almost instantly in the insect's stomach (as it digests the blood). HIV can only live in human cells.
Mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV for two reasons:
- The mosquito draws blood and injects saliva. The blood from one person is not injected into the mosquito's next victim.
- HIV dies in the mosquito's body. People sometimes are confused because malaria actually reproduces inside the mosquito's digestive tract, using the insect as part of its life cycle. HIV does not.
These facts are confirmed by looking at infection patterns. In areas where mosquitoes are common and where HIV is prevalent, the distribution of AIDS cases in the population is not different from other areas.
If mosquitoes transmitted HIV, they would be seeing a disproportionate number of children and elderly infected in those areas.