Beware Of The Bloody Banana

Last night I heard a horrifying story—one that still doesn’t quite make sense to me. I was chatting with a friend when she asked, “Have you heard that Facebook story about HIV-injected bananas? My cousin got one!” It sent chills down my spine. HIV what?

She went on to explain. Stories floating around social media sites like Reddit and Facebook have reported that select bananas and other fruit have been allegedly injected with the blood of HIV-positive individuals. The hype started over seven months ago with the report that a large quantity of blood oranges from Libya had been tainted with AIDS and HIV-infected blood and seized by Algerian immigration services.


Luckily, Snopes (with the help of the CDC) has debunked the transmission of HIV or AIDS through food:

Except for rare cases in which children consumed food that was pre-chewed by an HIV-infected caregiver, HIV has not been spread through food. The virus does not live long outside the body. You cannot get it from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person; even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus.”

Similar cases have surfaced closer to home. In Sioux Falls, SD, Karisa Neels shared a photo on social media in August of what she claimed was a blood-injected banana. Brian Monahan, manager of Sunshine Foods, claimed that what Neels found wasn’t blood, but redness caused by black mold. Banana skin is so sensitive to everything,” Monahan said.


Perhaps the most popular post came from Grand Rapids, MN, where the obvious syringe injection site is clearly visible.


Months after the hype, my friend’s cousin received a tainted banana. She opened her banana (purchased from Walmart in Wahpeton, ND) only to find the middle of the banana hard and dark red with blood. She said, “Two other red streaks ran the length of the banana.”

Julia banana

Although the likeliness of contracting HIV through this method is minimal, it is still a sick, cautionary tale that should remind us daily to wash our produce and thoroughly check our food.
After all of this (whether or not the tales have any truth), I still ponder the motive. What reason would someone have to taint fruit with a fatal disease? Is this a sick move brought on by someone who is bitter about contracting the disease accidentally? Why on earth would you wish HIV/AIDS upon anyone? That notion is more grotesque than the tainted pieces of fruit themselves.

Featured photo via

7 Responses

  1. Chris

    It’s too bad that while you actually recognized the website Snopes, you still perpetuate the bullshit rumor that these bananas are actually injected with blood in your last paragraph.

  2. Lesley

    OMG! I just got one of those today!!! When I got home I was hungry, so I decided to get a banana. I grabbed peeled it and it was red!!!! Gross and scary!!!

  3. Karen Goode

    I ate one Monday 2/8/2016 I hadn’t heard anything about the HIV BANANA I was looking at Facebook this morning Thursday and seen this I nearly fainted. My God what is this if it is not blood

  4. Betty

    I just started eating a banana that had red in the bottom and center of it should I be worry? purchased from HEB on Sawdust rd in the woodlands

  5. Bananaman

    Really disappointing that this type of rubbish is perpetuated. Whilst its difficult to know what the case is with the story of oranges being seized in Africa, a quick discussion with any Banana producer or fruit pathologist would have yielded the true cause of what has affected the bananas that have been purchased in the USA. The fruit is simply suffering from a banana plant specific disorder. Just like strawberries can go mouldy, bananas have their own issues, this being a very common one known as Mokillo. It is an infection of the fruit whilst it is still growing on the tree which slowly breaks down the fruit from the inside.
    People are so willing to believe conspiracies about blood and other ridiculous notions they tend to forget the realities of science.

  6. Sally

    I got a bunch of bananas at weirton walmart not a mark on the outside of the banana but had red streaks on the banana, my husband was going to eat. I yelled at him not taking any chances. Peeled two more they were fine don’t know what is was. Just glad a little kid didn’t eat it.

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