Scaremongering, HIV, and Fruit

I requested the informant to recount some pieces of folklore, some being ones that they have told me before. This is an urban legend they heard in middle school about how someone contracted HIV.


The informant says that this teenager bought a cup of chopped fruit from a street vendor in his neighbourhood. The next day, he started feeling sick and throwing up. When he went to the doctor, they told him he contracted HIV. As the story goes, the fruit vendor had HIV and had accidently cut through his gloves and into his hand without noticing. The boy did not notice the blood when he was eating it.

As some people still hold a lot of misconceptions and ignorant ideas about HIV, I am not entirely surprised that these almost scare-mongering, horror stories still exist. Presumably, people will drop these misconceptions as they grow up and learn. Information often dispels fear, a driving force behind these legends. For example, the informant later learned that one cannot contract HIV through consumption of infected blood, unless one has an open wound in the mouth seeing as HIV-infect fluid needs to enter the bloodstream. Having said that, it is possible that the person from the story had an open wound on their mouth.