Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Caused The Aids Epidemic In Africa

Where Did Hiv Come From A Look At The Origins Of The Pandemic Of Our Time

COVID-19 could cause HIV surge in Africa, UNAIDS says

A chimpanzees virus has killed 35 million humans.

That virus, commonly known as HIV, is the defining pandemic of our time. More than 35 million people have been killed by the virus to date. But the virus itself didnt get its start in humans.

HIV/AIDS is, like the vast majority of emerging viruses infecting people, zoonotic in nature. The AIDS crisis, as we generally think of it, began in the 1980s. First as a mysterious illness primarily infecting gay men in urban areas in the United States. But thats not really the beginning. Before the diseases first mention in 1982 in the New York Times, people had been dying of AIDS for at least a decade, though probably not much longer. In Africa, HIVthe virus that causes AIDShad jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime early in the 20th century.

To date, the earliest known case of HIV-1 infection in human blood is from a sample taken in 1959 from a man whod died in Kinshasa in what was then the Belgian Congo.

Its this fact which keeps me awake at night. Imagine, for a moment, that the HIV virus in that 1959 sample had been studied and identified. If, in the 1950s, the scientific community realized the potential harm this new virus could unleash. What could we have done? What therapies could we have developed before it became one of the deadliest pandemics in human history? Would we have a cure by now?

That work takes several forms, including:

A New Pattern Emerges

On June 5, 1981, CDC published a report in the MMWR describing requests for the drug pentamidine to treat a deadly disease called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in five previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. After the reports publication, health officials also noticed a spike in cases of Kaposis sarcoma external icon among gay men in New York. Health officials were alarmed that outbreaks of both PCP and KS, which were rare, deadly diseases associated with immune suppression, appeared in the same part of the population.

Why Is Haiti Significant

In the 1960s, the ‘B’ subtype of HIV-1 made its way to Haiti. This is thought to have happened because many Haitians had been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo and had then returned to Haiti. Initially, Haitians were blamed for starting the HIV epidemic, and suffered severe racism, stigma and discrimination as a result.

Also Check: Is Hiv And Herpes The Same Thing

Deaths Ylls And Ylds And Dalys

To facilitate comparison of HIV/AIDS outcomes of morbidity and mortality across countries, time, age-groups, and sex, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation improved previously established metrics like prevalence and incidence. How long do people live with HIV/AIDS is assessed using HIV/AIDS-specific mortality rates and HIV/AIDS-specific years YLLs. What causes people to get sick is assessed HIV/AIDS-specific YLDs which reflect the amount of time in a year that people live with a condition accounting for the severity of that condition. Adding together YLLs and YLDs yields DALYs.

To facilitate comparisons across SADC countries and eliminate potential confounding by age, outcomes are presented as age-standardized rates per 100,000 population i.e., the average of the age-specific HIV/AIDS rates weighted by country-specific proportions of a standard population in the corresponding age groups .

Where Does Hiv Come From

Q& A with Max Essex: Is African AIDS Different?

HIV is thought to have occurred after people ate chimps that were carrying theâ¯Simian Immunodeficiency Virus .

HIV is a type of lentivirus, which means it attacks the immune system. SIV attacks the immune systems of monkeys and apes in a very similar way. This suggests HIV and SIV are closely related, and that SIV in monkeys and apes crossed over to humans to become HIV.

Don’t Miss: Where Do I Get Tested For Hiv

Local Trends In The Number Of People Living With Hiv

Figure shows the estimated number of people living with HIV by 5 × 5-km grid cell. As expected, given variation in population density and HIV prevalence, the number of people living with HIV per grid cell was highly variable and skewed: in 2017, we estimate that less than one person lives with HIV in 52.1% of grid cells, less than 10 people live with HIV in 83.8% of grid cells, less than 100 people living with HIV in 97.4% of grid cells and less than 1,000 people live with HIV in 99.8% of grid cells. Grid cells with large numbers of people living with HIV tend to have large populations in general. Although many of the grid cells that have the largest number of people living with HIV are also grid cells with very high prevalence , there are also grid cells with more moderate HIV prevalence but large numbers of people living with HIV these are located primarily in western Africa.

Fig. 3: Number of people living with HIV for adults aged 1549 in 2017.

Male Circumcision And Hiv

For years researchers have puzzled over why most West African countries have lower HIV-infection rates than southern and East African countries. They thought it might have something to do with the Muslim religion, widely practiced in West Africa, which imposes restrictions on womens sexual freedom. However, another likely factor is male circumcision, which is ritually practiced by Muslims and many others.

Several studies suggest that male circumcision protects both men and their sexual partners from HIV infection. This is not true of female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, which is extremely dangerous. In African countries where male circumcision is common, such as Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Benin, and the entire region of North Africa, HIV rates tend to be much lower than in countries such as Botswana, Malawi, and Swaziland. In countries with high rates of HIV, provinces and districts that have high rates of circumcision, such as Inhambane in Mozambique or Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, tend to have lower HIV rates.

Two African tribes with very high HIV-infection rates are the Zulu of South Africa and the Tswana of Botswana. Before colonial times, men in both tribes underwent circumcision rituals during adolescence. But when King Shaka united the Zulu tribe in the 1820s, he abolished the ritual, and when Christian missionaries settled in with the Tswana in the late 19th century, they declared circumcision a barbaric practice.

Don’t Miss: The Hive Houses For Sale

Tribal Conflicts And Civil Wars

The Third World has been experiencing tribal conflicts and civil wars for a long time. The areas hit by these conflicts and wars do not have enough healthcare services to cater for the HIV/AIDS victims. These areas also do not get enough disease awareness programs and VCT services .

Most people affected by the conflicts and wars live in refugee camps. The camps are well known to be home to all sorts of evil, including drug abuse and prostitution which fuel the epidemic.

Validity Of Mortality And Morbidity Outcomes

South Africa: Young Women at Greater Risk of HIV/AIDS

GBD uses the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS estimates as inputs in their modeling ensemble . For example, pediatric HIV/AIDS mortality estimates in GBD were produced with the CD4-count-specific mortality and progression parameters developed by UNAIDS . Each iteration of GBD re-analyses the entire time series by use of newly available data sources from across all estimation years and continually improved methods. New data and modelling approaches effectively improve model validity and decrease uncertainty from various sources with the consequence that estimates for a given cause, location, and year might differ between GBD iterations and UNAIDS. Statistical, analytical, processing, and estimation code used to generate the GBD results are available on their website: – Causes of Death 5) .

Recommended Reading: Do I Have Hiv Or Am I Paranoid

The Patient Zero Myth

For decades, a French-Canadian airline employee named Gaetan Dugas, has been known as Patient Zero in the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

Dugas, a man who had sex with men , died in 1984. Since then he has been blamed by some as a primary source for the spread of HIV in North America.

Dugas was one of the primary villains in the 1987 book, And the Band Played On, by San Francisco journalist Randy Shilts.

However, the researchers now say Dugas was falsely accused and unfairly blamed.

Gaetan Dugas is one of the most demonized patients in history, and one of a long line of individuals and groups vilified in the belief that they somehow fueled epidemics with malicious intent, said Richard McKay, D.Phil., a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Cambridges Department of History and Philosophy of Science, in a press release.

In fact, McKay says, Dugas actually provided scientists with valuable information before he died.

Dugas told researchers after he contracted HIV that he had 750 sexual partners the previous three years. That wasnt necessarily an unusual number. Researchers said 65 percent of men in a Los Angeles cluster study at the time reported having more than 1,000 sexual partners in their lifetimes.

Much of that sexual connection was with anonymous partners, so many HIV patients couldnt give medical officials any names.

However, McKay says, Dugas provided medical officials with 72 names. That helped scientists track down a wide range of people infected with HIV.

What Needs To Happen

The theme of this World AIDS Day Know Your Status is important. One in four people with HIV dont know that they have HIV. To bridge some critical gaps in the availability of HIV tests, WHO recommends the use of self-tests for HIV. WHO first recommended HIV self-testing in 2016, and now more than 50 countries have developed policies on self-testing. WHO, working with international organizations such as Unitaid and others, supported the largest HIV self-testing programmes in six countries in southern Africa. This programme is reaching people who have not tested themselves before, and is linking them to either treatment or prevention services. This World AIDS Day, WHO and the International Labour Organization will also announce new guidance to support companies and organizations to offer HIV self-tests in workplace. People with HIV often have other infections known as co-morbidities such as TB or hepatitis. One in three deaths in people with HIV is from TB. Around 5 million people are living with both HIV and viral hepatitis. One in three people with HIV has heart disease. This has meant that HIV care has long needed joined-up care, although this doesnt always happen in practice. WHO is now promoting person-centred health services to all people living with HIV, to meet their holistic health needs, not just their HIV infection linking HIV services with those for TB, sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable diseases and mental health, says Dr Hirnschall.

You May Like: Can Hiv Be Transmitted Through Breast Milk

Hiv/aids Is One Of The Worlds Most Fatal Infectious Disease

Almost 1 million people die from HIV/AIDS each year in some countries its the leading cause of death

HIV/AIDS is one of the worlds most fatal infectious diseases particularly across Sub-Saharan Africa, where the disease has had a massive impact on health outcomes and life expectancy in recent decades.

The Global Burden of Disease is a major global study on the causes of death and disease published in the medical journal The Lancet.1 These estimates of the annual number of deaths by cause are shown here. This chart is shown for the global total, but can be explored for any country or region using the change country toggle.

In the chart we see that, globally, it is the second most fatal infectious disease.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, almost one million people died from HIV/AIDS in 2017. To put this into context: this was just over 50% higher than the number of deaths from malaria in 2017.

Its one of the largest killers globally but for some countries particularly across Sub-Saharan Africa, its the leading cause of death. If we look at the breakdown for South Africa, Botswana or Mozambique which you can do on the interactive chart we see that HIV/AIDS tops the list. For countries in Southern Sub-Saharan Africa, deaths from HIV/AIDS are more than 50% higher than deaths from heart disease, and more than twice that of cancer deaths.

Hiv/aids Epidemic And Covid

Preparing for the outbreak: helping research swing into action in ...
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • 2Novel Global Community Educational Foundation, Hebersham, NSW, Australia
  • 3AFNP Med Austria, Wien, Austria
  • 4Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • 5Medical Research Center, Kateb University, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • 6Department of Optometry, Madonna University, Okija, Nigeria
  • 7Department of Public Health, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  • 8Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
  • 9Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Science, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, Nigeria
  • 10Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt

Read Also: Does Denise Richards Have Hiv

Where And When Did Hiv Start

Studies of some of the earliest known samples of HIV provide clues about when it first appeared in humans and how it evolved. The first verified case of HIV is from a blood sample taken in 1959 from a man who was living in what is now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Scientists used this sample to create a ‘family-tree’ of HIV transmission. By doing this, they were able to trace the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans, which they concluded took place around 1920, also in Kinshasa. This area is known for having the most genetic diversity in HIV strains in the world, reflecting the number of different times SIV was passed to humans. Many of the first cases of AIDS were recorded there too.

Tuberculosis Among People Living With Hiv

Tuberculosis is the leading HIV-associated opportunistic infection in low- and middle- income countries, and it is a leading cause of death globally among people living with HIV. Death due to tuberculosis still remains high among people living with HIV, however the number of deaths is decreasing. Most of the global mortality due to TB among those with HIV is from cases in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In the charts here we see the number of tuberculosis patients who tested positive for HIV the number receiving antiretroviral therapy and the number of TB-related deaths among those living with HIV.

People who use ART are living longer

ART not only saves lives but also gives a chance for people living with HIV/AIDS to live long lives. Without ART very few infected people survive beyond ten years.3

Today, a person living in a high-income country who started ART in their twenties can expect to live for another 46 years that is well into their 60s.4

While the life expectancy of people living with HIV/AIDS in high-income countries has still not reached the life expectancy of the general population, we are getting closer to this goal.5

ART prevents new HIV infections

There is considerable evidence to show that people who use ART are less likely to transmit HIV to another person.7 ART reduces the number of viral particles present in an HIV-positive individual and therefore, the likelihood of passing the virus to another person decreases.

We need to increase ART coverage

Don’t Miss: Does Walgreens Do Free Hiv Testing

The Aids Epidemic Arises

Though HIV arrived in the United States around 1970, it didnt come to the publics attention until the early 1980s.

In 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report about five previously healthy homosexual men becoming infected with Pneumocystis pneumonia, which is caused by the normally harmless fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii. This type of pneumonia, the CDC noted, almost never affects people with uncompromised immune systems.

The following year, The New York Times published an alarming article about the new immune system disorder, which, by that time, had affected 335 people, killing 136 of them. Because the disease appeared to affect mostly homosexual men, officials initially called it gay-related immune deficiency, or GRID.

Though the CDC discovered all major routes of the diseases transmissionas well as that female partners of AIDS-positive men could be infectedin 1983, the public considered AIDS a gay disease. It was even called the gay plague for many years after.

In September of 1982, the CDC used the term AIDS to describe the disease for the first time. By the end of the year, AIDS cases were also reported in a number of European countries.

Precision Public Health And Hiv

How South Africa, the nation hardest-hit by HIV, plans to ‘end AIDS’

Country-level estimates of HIV prevalence, produced by both the Global Burden of Disease study and UNAIDS, highlight extensive differences in HIV prevalence between countries within sub-Saharan Africa. Further differences in HIV prevalence within national borders have long been recognized and recent evidence suggests that there is substantial within-country variation. Both GBD and UNAIDS estimate the prevalence of HIV at the first-level administrative subdivisions in select countries and a growing number of studies have examined subnational trends in the prevalence of HIV in a variety of locations and at various levels of granularity,,,,,,,, these studies consistently find extensive within-country geographical variation in HIV prevalence.

Also Check: Does Pamela Anderson Have Hiv

Why Do Some People Say Hiv Started In The Usa In The 1980s

Because this is when people first became aware of HIV, and it was when HIV was officially recognised as a new health condition. But HIV had actually been around for decades by then.

In 1981, rare diseases, such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and a lung infection called PCP, were being reported among gay men in New York and California. Scientists began to suspect that an unidentified infectious ‘disease’ was the cause.

At first, the âdiseaseâ was called all sorts of names relating to the word âgay’. It wasn’t until mid-1982 that scientists realised it was also spreading among other populations, such as haemophiliacs and people who inject drugs. In September that year, they named it Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome .

In 1983, scientists at the Pasteur Institute in France identified the virus linked to AIDS, which they called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus . Scientists at the USA National Cancer Institute confirmed this virus was the cause of AIDS and called it HTLV-III. LAV and HTLV-III were later acknowledged to be the same. A few years later, the virus was renamed as HIV.

Popular Articles
Related news