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Fact Check-COVID-19 vaccines do not cause HIV or AIDS   

A false claim that COVID-19 vaccines give people AIDS has once again resurfaced on social media.

On Facebook (here , here), Singapore-based users have shared a screenshot of a tweet (here) that reads: “Its AIDS, they are giving people AIDS... I am on an international zoom call with pathologists and Doctors. We are in serious trouble. Immune systems are being obliterated.” 

This appears to be a reference to the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The tweet’s author has previously shared misinformation about the vaccine increasing the risk of HIV infection (here).

In another Twitter thread (here), one user said to the author: “You believe and have been recklessly spreading the idiocy that the US Govt and pharma manufs are giving the public AIDS in Covid vaccines!!!”, to which the author replied: “I am right, you are ill informed. Try not to panic when you figure out I am right”.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or “AIDS”, is a chronic condition that interferes with the body’s ability to fight infection and disease (mayocl.in/3H123fC). It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (here).

However, authorised COVID-19 vaccines do not contain, nor do they cause, HIV or AIDS.

The contents of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines can be seen (here  , here , here).

Reuters has already addressed claims that an Australian COVID-19 vaccine candidate infected trial participants with HIV (here).

The development of the vaccine by the University of Queensland and biotech firm CSL was found to interfere with HIV tests, but routine follow ups confirmed there was no HIV present, according to CSL (here).

The trial was ultimately halted, and the vaccine is not in use (here).

There is also no evidence of immunodeficiency being related to COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaking to Reuters for a previous fact check on the topic, Donna Farber, chief of the Division of Surgical Sciences and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University, explained that the vaccines “don’t deplete any immune cells,” (here), but instead: “They stimulate immune cells to be activated, divide and produce molecules like antibodies and soluble factors to recognize a pathogen and rid the body of it.”

VERDICT

False. COVID-19 vaccines do not cause HIV or AIDS.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.  

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