Safety > Issues of Interest > AIDS
Vaccine and HIV / AIDS
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
of this page:
What You Should Know
data show that oral polio vaccine used in
the 1950s did not cause the spread of HIV,
the virus that causes AIDS.
Polio is a serious disease that can cause
paralysis and death.
Polio vaccine protects children against polio.
polio vaccines do not contain HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS.
theory about how HIV began in humans states
that the virus was spread to people by an
oral polio vaccine (a vaccine given by mouth)
used in Africa in the 1950s.
has been a great deal of research and discussion
about this idea, and experts believe that
the oral polio vaccine did not cause the
spread of HIV.
were no HIV/AIDS epidemics in some areas
where the oral polio vaccine was given.
of the vaccine was recently tested and did
not contain HIV or HIV-like viruses.
is very difficult to transmit HIV by swallowing
it, especially swallowing such small amounts
(the vaccine was only a couple of drops of
liquid). It is very unlikely that HIV would
be passed from a vaccine given by mouth.
was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases
of the first half of the 20th Century in
the United States.
to polio vaccine, the disease is gone from
the U.S., and efforts are underway to get
rid of polio from the rest of the world.
people still get sick and die from polio
in other parts of the world. It would only
take one case of polio from another country
to bring the disease back if we were not
protected through vaccination.
recommends that parents have their children
vaccinated against polio and other childhood