Elisa: The First Hiv Blood Test
In CDCs immunology lab, scientists began working with AIDS specimens as early as July 1981 to understand how the immune systems of young, healthy men were so compromised by the mystery illness. In a photograph from 1983 displayed here, a female CDC research chemist conducts tests on biological fluids from AIDS patients. This work contributed to the theory that an infectious agent, not a genetic defect, was the cause of the disease. CDCs virology labs were among a network of international research centers searching for the virus believed to be the cause of AIDS.
By the next year, the U.S Food and Drug Administration licensed the first commercial blood test, ELISA, to detect HIV. Blood banks begin screening the U.S. blood supply. In a photograph on display, a different CDC lab technician is performing the ELISA test. Using a plastic plate with 96 wells, the lab technician adds the patients blood to different enzymes. Certain reactions between the blood and the enzymes indicated the presence of HIV antibodies.
What Happened In The 1980s In The Usa
People sometimes say that HIV started in the 1980s in the United States of America , but in fact this was just when people first became aware of HIV and it was officially recognised as a new health condition.
In 1981, a few cases of rare diseases were being reported among gay men in New York and California, such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma and a lung infection called PCP.1516 No one knew why these cancers and opportunistic infections were spreading, but they concluded that there must be an infectious ‘disease’ causing them.
At first the disease was called all sorts of names relating to the word ‘gay’.17 It wasn’t until mid-1982 that scientists realised the ‘disease’ was also spreading among other populations such as haemophiliacs and heroin users.1819 By September that year, the ‘disease’ was finally named AIDS.20
It was only in 1983 that the HIV virus was isolated and identified by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in France. Originally called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus the virus was confirmed as the cause of AIDS, when scientists working at the USA National Cancer Institute isolated the same virus and called it HTLV-III. LAV and HTLV-III were later acknowledged to be the same.
How Did Hiv Spread From Kinshasa
The area around Kinshasa is full of transport links, such as roads, railways and rivers. The area also had a growing sex trade around the time that HIV began to spread. The high population of migrants and sex trade might explain how HIV spread along these infrastructure routes. By 1937, it had reached Brazzaville, about 120km west of Kinshasa.
The lack of transport routes into the North and East of the country accounts for the significantly fewer reports of infections there at the time.11
By 1980, half of all infections in DR Congo were in locations outside of the Kinshasa area, reflecting the growing epidemic.12
You May Like: How Long Does Hiv
Origin And Epidemic Emergence
Several of the theories of HIV origin accept the established knowledge of the HIV/SIV phylogenetic relationships, and also accept that bushmeat practice was the most likely cause of the initial transfer to humans. All of them propose that the simultaneous epidemic emergences of four HIV groups in the late 19th-early 20th century, and the lack of previous known emergences, are explained by new factor that appeared in the relevant African regions in that timeframe. These new factor would have acted either to increase human exposures to SIV, to help it to adapt to the human organism by mutation , or to cause an initial burst of transmissions crossing an epidemiological threshold, and therefore increasing the probability of continued spread.
Genetic studies of the virus suggested in 2008 that the most recent common ancestor of the HIV-1 M group dates back to the Belgian Congo city of Léopoldville , circa 1910. Proponents of this dating link the HIV epidemic with the emergence of colonialism and growth of large colonial African cities, leading to social changes, including a higher degree of non-monogamous sexual activity, the spread of prostitution, and the concomitant high frequency of genital ulcer diseases in nascent colonial cities.
Social changes and urbanization
Colonialism in Africa
Aids And The Architecture Of Global Health
HIV/AIDS played a major role in shaping current global health architecture. The threat posed by HIV led WHO to establish a dedicated program in 1986. In 1996, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS was established to coordinate the multisectoral response. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the first high-level summit ever devoted to a disease, committed the world to specific targets. In 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created, and a year later, US President G.W. Bush announced the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the largest bilateral health program ever undertaken. The scale-up of HIV/AIDS services has highlighted the need to focus on strengthening health systems and on other health-related Millennium Development Goals relating to maternal and child health.
A problem with the early response in the United States as well as globally was an overemphasis on universal vulnerability, the concept that everyone is at risk. Predictions of widespread, generalized HIV/AIDS epidemics among heterosexual persons outside Africa, especially in Asia, were not borne out. The concept of know your epidemic, highlighting the need to focus interventions where HIV transmission is most intense, came surprisingly late, along with acknowledgment of the fundamentally different nature of the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa compared with elsewhere.
Recommended Reading: Hiv From Dried Blood
Pop Culture Opens Up Conversations
In 1985, actor Rock Hudson became the first major public figure to announce he had AIDS. Before he died that same year, he donated $250,000 to help establish the organization later known as amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. Friend and actress Elizabeth Taylor was the national chairperson until her death in 2011.
In 1987, Princess Diana also made international headlines after she shook hands with an HIV-positive man.
Pop culture icon Freddie Mercury, singer for the band Queen, passed away from AIDS-related illness in 1991. Since then, many other public figures have revealed that theyre HIV-positive, including:
- tennis star Arthur Ashe
- former basketball star and entrepreneur Magic Johnson
- Pedro Zamora, a cast member on MTVs The Real World: San Francisco
- actor Charlie Sheen, who announced his status on national television in 2015
- hairstylist and television personality Jonathan Van Ness
- actor and singer Billy Porter
Why Do We Care Does All This Research Into How The Virus Got Started Tell Us Anything About How To Stop It
Hunting chimps in West Central Africa.
Research into the HIV’s origins may eventually yield practical results. It could help scientists understand why HIV’s viral ancestor, SIV, doesn’t kill or even sicken chimps who carry it. With that knowledge, researchers might be able to make drugs with fewer side effects, or broad-spectrum vaccines that protect against all the strains of the disease that infect people today.
Korber suggests that in an era of emerging diseases, looking back on the virus’ shadowy origins offers a “history lesson,” or perhaps even a fable, with a moral attached. By the time doctors realized that HIV/AIDS existed, it had already taken up permanent residence in humans. They couldn’t have known about it before then, but, Korber says, at least now they know to be wary as the virus continues its shape-shifting spread around the globe. “The fact that it could be with us for quite a long time before we even realized it was there is kind of eye-opening,” she says. “I think it’s something to keep us on our toes. It helps us understand that we can be surprised.” And of course, HIV research may have a few surprises left for us, too.
You May Like: How Did Nba Youngboy Get Herpes
Early Aids Surveillance And Epidemiology
To investigate this apparent outbreak, CDC investigators developed a simple surveillance case definition for what was first called KS/OI. The definition focused on certain OIs or KS in otherwise healthy persons and was used to establish a national reporting system. In light of new knowledge concerning AIDS and its underlying cause, the case definition was modified over time, but early surveillance indicated that an epidemic was under way and, in retrospect, had begun several years before the first reports. Retrospective testing of stored serum specimens from hepatitis patients in Los Angeles documented human immunodeficiency virus infection as early as 1979.
The initial risk groups identified were men who have sex with men and injection drug users . Field investigations and surveillance activities demonstrated sexually linked cases in MSM and in persons with hemophilia and transfusion recipients, implicating transmission by male-to-male sexual contact as well as through blood and blood products. Cases in heterosexual persons and infants indicated that transmission could also occur through heterosexual contact and from mother to child.
Is Hiv 1 Or 2 More Common In The Us
Globally, HIV-1 is the most common type of HIV. Avert, a charity dedicated to HIV awareness, estimates that 95 percent of people living with HIV have the virus. The HIV-2 epidemic is primarily present in West Africa, but it is slowly spreading to other parts of the world, including the United States, Europe, and India.
Don’t Miss: Catching Hiv Early
What Is The ‘four
In 1983, the Centers for Disease Control in the United States listed the main at-risk groups, including partners of people with AIDS, people who inject drugs, haemophiliacs and people who have recently been to Haiti. At the time that cases of AIDS began to emerge in the USA, the absence of definitive information about HIV and its link to AIDS, inflated the panic and stigma surrounding the epidemic. Before long people began to talk colloquially of a 4-H Club at risk of AIDS: homosexuals, haemophiliacs, heroin addicts and Haitians, contributing to further stigmatisation.21
Where Did Aids Come From
Scientists have traced the origin of HIV back to chimpanzees and simian immunodeficiency virus , an HIV-like virus that attacks the immune system of monkeys and apes.
In 1999, researchers identified a strain of chimpanzee SIV called SIVcpz, which was nearly identical to HIV. Chimps, the scientist later discovered, hunt and eat two smaller species of monkeysred-capped mangabeys and greater spot-nosed monkeysthat carry and infect the chimps with two strains of SIV. These two strains likely combined to form SIVcpz, which can spread between chimpanzees and humans.
SIVcpz likely jumped to humans when hunters in Africa ate infected chimps, or the chimps infected blood got into the cuts or wounds of hunters. Researchers believe the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans that then led to the global pandemic occurred in 1920 in Kinshasa, the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus spread may have spread from Kinshasa along infrastructure routes via migrants and the sex trade.
In the 1960s, HIV spread from Africa to Haiti and the Caribbean when Haitian professionals in the colonial Democratic Republic of Congo returned home. The virus then moved from the Caribbean to New York City around 1970 and then to San Francisco later in the decade.
International travel from the United States helped the virus spread across the rest of the globe.
READ MORE: Pandemics That Changed History: A Timeline
Read Also: How Long Does Hiv Last
Did Hiv Start In Africa
Using the earliest known sample of HIV, scientists have been able to create a ‘family-tree’ ancestry of HIV transmission, allowing them to discover where HIV started.
Their studies concluded that the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans took place around 1920 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo .10
The same 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.
Aids And The Globalization Of Science Research And Practice
A positive development in the response to AIDS has been its effect on science and the globalization of research and practice. Retrovirology and immunology became well-supported disciplines whose practitioners interacted productively with workers in other subjects such as epidemiology. Cohorts of physicians and scientists built their careers in basic as well as applied and clinical research. The frequency with which tuberculosis occurs in HIV-infected persons has led to a resurgence of interest in the diagnosis and treatment of this ancient disease, especially in Africa. Advances in the treatment of HIV-associated OIs have benefited other immunosuppressed persons. In addition, sexual and reproductive health gained renewed prominence.
Scientific advances resulted in the development of lifesaving, albeit not curative, treatment for HIV. Beginning with the approval of AZT in 1987, the development of antiretroviral drugs and the design of simple and standardized approaches for therapy in the developing world constituted a public health triumph. By the end of 2009, > 5 million persons in low- and middle-income countries were accessing ART, unimaginable just a few years before and made possible through the use of generic drugs, price reductions for brand-name drugs, and efforts of international donors through initiatives such as the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund.
Recommended Reading: Hiv Dormancy Period
The Link Between Hiv And Siv
HIV is a type of lentivirus, which means it attacks the immune system. In a similar way, the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus attacks the immune systems of monkeys and apes.1
Research found that HIV is related to SIV and there are many similarities between the two viruses. HIV-1 is closely related to a strain of SIV found in chimpanzees, and HIV-2 is closely related to a strain of SIV found in sooty mangabeys.2
Unresolved Questions About Hiv Origins And Emergence
The discovery of the main HIV / SIV phylogenetic relationships permits explaining broad HIV biogeography: the early centres of the HIV-1 groups were in Central Africa, where the primate reservoirs of the related SIVcpz and SIVgor viruses exist similarly, the HIV-2 groups had their centres in West Africa, where sooty mangabeys, which harbour the related SIVsmm virus, exist. However, these relationships do not explain more detailed patterns of biogeography, such as why epidemic HIV-2 groups only evolved in the Ivory Coast, which is one of only six countries harbouring the sooty mangabey. It is also unclear why the SIVcpz endemic in the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii did not spawn an epidemic HIV-1 strain to humans, while the Democratic Republic of Congo was the main centre of HIV-1 group M, a virus descended from SIVcpz strains of a subspecies that does not exist in this country. It is clear that the several HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains descend from SIVcpz, SIVgor, and SIVsmm viruses, and that bushmeat practice provides the most plausible cause of cross-species transfer to humans. However, some loose ends remain.
It is not yet explained why only four HIV groups spread considerably in human populations, despite bushmeat practices being widespread in Central and West Africa, and the resulting human SIV infections being common.
Also Check: Hiv Gestation Period
Pathogenicity Of Siv In Non
In most non-human primate species, natural SIV infection does not cause a fatal disease . Comparison of the gene sequence of SIV with HIV should, therefore, give us information about the factors necessary to cause disease in humans. The factors that determine the virulence of HIV as compared to most SIVs are only now being elucidated. Non-human SIVs contain a nef gene that down-regulates CD3, CD4, and MHC class I expression most non-human SIVs, therefore, do not induce immunodeficiency the HIV-1nef gene, however, has lost its ability to down-regulate CD3, which results in the immune activation and apoptosis that is characteristic of chronic HIV infection.
In addition, a long-term survey of chimpanzees naturally infected with SIVcpz in Gombe, Tanzania found that, contrary to the previous paradigm, chimpanzees with SIVcpz infection do experience an increased mortality, and also suffer from a Human AIDS-like illness. SIV pathogenicity in wild animals could exist in other chimpanzee subspecies and other primate species as well, and stay unrecognized by lack of relevant long term studies.
A Timeline Of Hiv And Aids
The HIV.gov Timeline reflects the history of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic from the first reported cases in 1981 to the presentwhere advances in HIV prevention, care, and treatment offer hope for a long, healthy life to people who are living with, or at risk for, HIV and AIDS.
View a timeline of the current Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative. Please visit HIVHistory.org for a timeline of the global and domestic response to the HIV epidemic.
You May Like: Nba Youngboy Has Herpes
So Scientists Have Estimated When And Where The Most Deadly Type Of Hiv Started Infecting Humans
Most AIDS researchers believe that the “bushmeat trade” allowed the HIV-1 virus, and separately HIV-2, to enter the human bloodstream several times. Hunters who kill and butcher chimps and monkeys are regularly exposed to animal blood teeming with SIVs. If the hunters have cuts, bites, or scratches — and given the nature of their work they almost always do — they can catch the viruses from their prey. Hunters going after chimps in Cameroon could have caught the first strains of HIV-1. Sooty mangabeys, hunted and kept as pets in West Africa, could have transmitted HIV-2 to humans.
Africans have hunted chimps and monkeys and kept them as pets for centuries they’ve presumably been exposed to SIVs during most of that time. But the conditions needed for HIV to spread widely weren’t in place until after the continent was colonized and urbanized. The first victims would have found it easier to unwittingly spread the virus to sexual partners far and wide as roads and vehicles started connecting previously isolated villages and cities. Hospitals may have played a role, too. Strapped for cash, some of them probably re-used dirty needles, unknowingly infecting patients in the process.