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hoaxes that went viral and you thought were true

This story, widely circulated through forwarded emails and social media, is untrue. There are also several variants of this story claiming that take-out food contaminated with infected blood caused AIDS in patrons. However, the claims in these stories are unsubstantiated and vague.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “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.”

This is a popular social media post showing the image of a baby with a birth defect and pleading for you to help the baby by sharing the post to increase Facebook’s supposed $1 donation for each time it is shared. Facebook, however, has clarified that it does not donate money as a result of people liking or sharing content.

The baby shown in this image is Hayes Davis. He was born on March 25, 2011, with a birth defect called omphalocele in which an infant is born with the intestines, liver or other organs sticking outside of the belly, covered in a thin, transparent membrane or sac.

This is a common but misleading forwarded email with a significantly exaggerated and unsupported claim. Claiming to have originated from the Institute of Health Sciences in Baltimore, the message states that lemon is a “proven remedy against cancers of all types.” The medical institute, however, has denied any involvement with this message.

Scientific studies published in the last decade do suggest that lemons and other citrus fruits may possess substantial anticancer properties.