AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao has urged the public to stop spreading wrong information about fishes with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Cagayan de Oro.
Dr. Dave Mendoza of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit called the text scam, telling the public to stop eating fish for they may contain HIV, “ridiculous and impossible.”
“There's a reason why the H in HIV is human because the virus only affects human and not fishes, the virus does not transfer in fishes,” Mendoza said.
He adds that HIV can only be transferred to one person to another, through unprotected sex, blood to blood transmission, and mother to child transmission during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. Only certain body fluids—blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from a person who has HIV can transmit HIV.
HIV is not transmitted by air or water, saliva, sweat, tears or closed-mouth kissing, insects or pets, and sharing toilets, food or drinks.
“There has been no record of fishes dying because of HIV. To the people behind this text scam, please stop spreading the fake news because instead of educating the people, they are trying to make issues to create panic, this is unfair,” Mendoza said.
He said in light of the text scam, the DOH is set to issue an advisory on the issue.
Mendoza also urged the media to be responsible in spreading unverified information.
“We also call on all persons who are sexually active to be faithful to your faithful partner, and be consistent and ensure the correct use of condom. Also, abstinence should be considered,” he added.