False: COVID-19 is laced with strains of HIV

By: Priyam Nayak
July 8 2021

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False: COVID-19 is laced with strains of HIV


The Verdict False

COVID-19 and HIV have similar spike proteins but they are not unique to these two viruses

Claim ID 253cfeba

COVID-19 and HIV have similar spike proteins but they are not unique to these two virusesIn January 2020, a group of scientists in India had shared in a pre-print that the novel coronavirus had similarities to the genome of HIV. The paper was later withdrawn following widespread criticism. Similar claims have been made and in one case the assertion that SARS-CoV-2 contains the genetic code of HIV was also used to propagate the theory that the virus is lab-made. Several scientists have debunked the claim that SARS-CoV-2 contains HIV genetic code. A team of global health scientists and infection preventionists at the Meedan Digital Health Lab, a public health information hub clarified in an article published on January 5, 2021, that HIV and COVID-19 have glycoproteins, including spike-like glycoproteins that push out from the virus's surface to attach to cells. It stated, "Glycoproteins, which are a type of molecule made up of proteins and carbohydrates (like sugar), can be found in many viruses. They serve as a way to assist the viruses with entering and binding to the human body." The article further explained that "Though both COVID-19 and HIV have similar spike proteins, with surfaces that are covered by a coat of sugar molecules ( which is how the viruses latch onto and enter human cells) they are not unique to these two viruses by any means. The four DNA protein sequences that the study highlighted are found in many different organisms, including the ones that cause cryptosporidiosis and malaria, in addition to SARS-CoV-2 and HIV." Scientists found not just similarities between COVID-19 and HIV, but also at least 100 identical or highly similar codes in genes from mammals, insects, bacteria, and others and in a large number of viruses caused by many different reasons, according to the article. The claim that COVID-19 is laced with strains of HIV is false. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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