We came across an image being circulated on a Singapore-based Telegram group:
It appears to be a screenshot of an online article with a headline stating “Data shows fully vaccinated individuals in UK, NZ are developing AIDS”.
We also see conversations on the Telegram channel which talk about an apparent link between COVID-19 vaccinations and HIV:
Before we dive into the claims being made, it is important to note the difference between HIV and AIDS.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. However, it is only when HIV is left untreated that it develops to become AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Going back to the conversations surrounding the apparent link between COVID vaccines and HIV/AIDS, one said that they heard that “Pfizer is causing VAIDS”.
For some context, claims of ‘VAIDS’ or ‘vaccine-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome’ were circulating online a few months or so back. Various medical experts have come forward to debunk the claim, with Donna Farber, chief of the Division of Surgical Sciences and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University telling Reuters that it is “not a real syndrome”.
Farber had also explained that vaccines in general “don’t deplete any immune cells”, and on the contrary, “they stimulate immune cells to be activated, divide and produce molecules like antibodies and soluble factors to recognise a pathogen and rid the body of it”.
In addition, a spokesperson for the University of Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine team told Reuters there is “no truth at all that vaccines weaken the immune system and that this causes death”, and the suggestion even “goes against every scientific principle of vaccination”.
Same claim, different angle
While there was no link being shared along with the first screenshot, we were able to locate the article with the URL seen above the image of an individual falling.
We also managed to find the same article with the same author byline published on naturalnews.com, a “science-based natural health advocacy organisation”. The About page also states that the site “strongly criticises drugs-and-surgery medicine, vaccines, corporate corruption, animal testing, the use of humans for medical experiments, the chemical contamination of foods, heavy metals in consumer products, factory farming and government corruption”.
According to the article, data released by the New Zealand government “showed fully vaccinated individuals developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS, showing major degradation of the immune system”. It then goes on to state that “data presented by the (New Zealand) government” showed that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness for two doses fell to “-281.35 percent”, meaning that “the fully vaccinated are 3.8 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than the unvaccinated or single-dose population”.
Additionally, the article claims that this data “also showed that the shots are slowly giving the population AIDS, which is a complete degradation of the immune system”.
The article carries on to report that the UK government had apparently “recently released more documentation that showed strong evidence of the COVID-19 vaccine causing AIDS”. Once again, it then goes on to talk about how vaccines allegedly negatively affect one’s immune system. To quote the author: “So when authorities say that vaccine effectiveness weakens over time, they really mean that the immune system is the one that is weakening.”
It is extremely puzzling as to how the link between apparent “degradation of the immune system” by COVID-19 vaccines and the development of AIDS in individuals was drawn. As succinctly phrased by FullFact, “a failure of the immune system to prevent infection against one specific disease is not evidence of someone contracting ‘a form of AIDS'”. The only way that a person would be able to contract HIV (which could eventually develop into AIDS) is through direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load.
Therefore, it is false that COVID-19 vaccines are causing individuals to develop AIDS.