Years Of Aids: A Timeline Of The Epidemic
Over the past four decades, UCSF has led the way in its heroic and committed response to the AIDS epidemic, both locally and globally. This timeline covers some of the highlights over the past 40 years at UCSF, in the nation and around the world after a mysterious outbreak affecting gay men was first reported on June 5, 1981.
Origin And Distribution Of Sivcpz
Of the many primate lentiviruses that have been identified, SIVcpz has been of particular interest because of its close genetic relationship to HIV-1 . However, studies of this virus have proven to be challenging because of the endangered status of chimpanzees. The first isolates of SIVcpz were all derived from animals housed in primate centers or sanctuaries, although infection was rare in these populations. Collective analyses of nearly 2,000 wild-caught or captive-born apes identified fewer than a dozen SIVcpz positive individuals . Because other primate species, such as sooty mangabeys and African green monkeys, are much more commonly infected, both in captivity and in the wild , this finding raised doubts about whether chimpanzees represented a true SIV reservoir. To resolve this conundrum, our laboratory developed noninvasive diagnostic methods that detect SIVcpz specific antibodies and nucleic acids in chimpanzee fecal and urine samples with high sensitivity and specificity . These technical innovations, combined with genotyping methods for species and subspecies confirmation as well as individual identification, permitted a comprehensive analysis of wild-living chimpanzee populations throughout central Africa.
When And Where Did Hiv Start In Humans
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 living in what is now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sample was retrospectively analysed and HIV detected. There are numerous earlier cases where patterns of deaths from common opportunistic infections, now known to be AIDS-defining, suggest that HIV was the cause, but this is the earliest incident where a blood sample can verify infection.9
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Why Do Scientists Look At Recent Samples Of Hiv To Determine The Virus’ Overall Age Wouldn’t It Be Better To Use Older Samples That Haven’t Had As Much Time To Mutate
It would, but scientists don’t have that luxury. Other than the 1959 sample, there are very few preserved specimens of HIV-infected tissue that predate the early ’80s, when the virus was first recognized by health authorities. Researchers still hope there are forgotten samples in African freezers. “There has to be some serum or plasma somewhere, and given modern technology we could fish out the virus,” says Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and one of the world’s leading authorities on HIV.
But even if those samples are found someday, they won’t necessarily yield definite answers about the virus’ age, says Korber: “Often, you can’t get anything out of samples like that.” Most African samples are made of blood serum, and serum samples contain viral RNA, which degrades much faster than the DNA found in tissue samples. In fact, says Ho, the 1959 sample, which was sequenced by his laboratory, was kept in a freezer but still didn’t survive the ravages of time. “It was completely dried up,” he says. “We were only able to get small pieces , and we had to stitch them together.”
Impact On Young People
- Teens and young adults continue to be at risk, with those under 35 accounting for 57% of new HIV diagnoses in 2019 .51 Most young people are infected sexually.52
- Among young people, gay and bisexual men and minorities have been particularly affected.53
- Perinatal HIV transmission, from an HIV-infected mother to her baby, has declined significantly in the U.S., largely due to increased testing efforts among pregnant women and ART which can prevent mother-to-child transmission.54,55,56
- A recent survey of young adults found that HIV remains a concern for young people, especially for young people of color.57
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How Did Hiv Become A Global Disease
Due to the similarity of symptoms from HIV infection with other illnesses, along with its long incubation period, HIV was able to silently spread around the globe. The lack of severe symptoms following infection meant that the virus went undetected and did not trigger the normal World Health Organisation safety procedures used to isolate new diseases and prevent them from spreading.
The Nigerian Governments Response To Hiv/aids
The Nigerian government was slow to respond to the increasing rates of HIV transmission. It was in 1991 that the Federal Ministry of Health made their first attempt to assess Nigeria’s AIDS situation.
The results showed that around 1.8 percent of the population of Nigeria at the time were infected with HIV. Reports also revealed that during the 1990s HIV infected victims rose from 3.8% in 1993 to 4.5% in 1998.
When Olusegun Obasanjo became the president of Nigeria in 1999, HIV prevention, treatment and care became one of the governments primary concerns.
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Aids: Origin Of Pandemic ‘was 1920s Kinshasa’
Health editor, BBC News website
The origin of the Aids pandemic has been traced to the 1920s in the city of Kinshasa, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, scientists say.
An international team of scientists say a “perfect storm” of population growth, sex and railways allowed HIV to spread.
A feat of viral archaeology was used to find the pandemic’s origin, the team report in the journal Science.
They used archived samples of HIV’s genetic code to trace its source, with evidence pointing to 1920s Kinshasa.
Their report says a roaring sex trade, rapid population growth and unsterilised needles used in health clinics probably spread the virus.
Meanwhile Belgium-backed railways had one million people flowing through the city each year, taking the virus to neighbouring regions.
Experts said it was a fascinating insight into the start of the pandemic.
HIV came to global attention in the 1980s and has infected nearly 75 million people.
It has a much longer history in Africa, but where the pandemic started has remained the source of considerable debate.
How Do I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your health care provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them too. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
To find an HIV testing location near you, use the HIV Services Locator.
HIV self-testing is also an option. Self-testing allows people to take an HIV test and find out their result in their own home or other private location. You can buy a self-test kit at a pharmacy or online. Some health departments or community-based organizations also provide self-test kits for free.
Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations fact sheet on the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the only FDA-approved in-home HIV test.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult for some people to access traditional places where HIV testing is provided. Self-testing allows people to get tested for HIV while still following stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices. Ask your local health department or HIV service organization if they offer self-testing kits.
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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.
What Needs To Happen
The challenges in the years ahead are clear: we need to reach the 25% of people who have HIV and dont know and support them to test and link to treatment. We need to increase access to prevention to condoms, to voluntary medical male circumcision, to harm reduction and to PrEP. We need to prioritize HIV services for vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups such as people in prisons, people who inject drugs, men having sex with men, transgender people and sex workers. These key populations continue to be left behind, not benefiting from the huge advances in HIV testing, prevention and treatment made over the past 30 years says Dr Baggaley.
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Case Definition For Epidemiological Surveillance
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008, a team led by Robert Shafer at Stanford University School of Medicine has discovered that the gray mouse lemur has an endogenouslentivirus in its genetic makeup. This suggests that lentiviruses have existed for at least 14 million years, much longer than the currently known existence of HIV. In addition, the time frame falls in the period when Madagascar was still connected to what is now the African continent the said lemurs later developed immunity to the virus strain and survived an era when the lentivirus was widespread among other mammals. The study is being hailed as crucial, because it fills the blanks in the origin of the virus, as well as in its evolution, and may be important in the development of new antiviral drugs.
In 2010, researchers reported that SIV had infected monkeys in Bioko for at least 32,000 years. Previous to this time, it was thought that SIV infection in monkeys had happened over the past few hundred years. Scientists estimated that it would take a similar amount of time before humans adapted naturally to HIV infection in the way monkeys in Africa have adapted to SIV and not suffer any harm from the infection.
The Development Of Research Treatment And Prevention
Azidothymidine, also known as zidovudine, was introduced in 1987 as the first treatment for HIV. Scientists also developed treatments to reduce mother to child transmission.
In 1997, highly active antiretroviral therapy became the new treatment standard. It caused a 47 percent decline in death rates.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first rapid HIV diagnostic test kit in November 2002. The test kit allowed hospitals to provide results with 99.6 percent accuracy in 20 minutes.
Also in 2003, the CDC reported that 40,000 new transmissions occurred each year. More than half of those transmissions came from people who didnt know they had contracted the virus. It was later discovered the number was closer to 56,300 people living with HIV. This number remains roughly the same since the late 1990s.
The World Health Organization set a goal to bring treatment to 3 million people by 2005. By 2010, about 5.25 million people had treatment, and 1.2 million people would start treatment.
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Where Did Hiv Come From A Look At The Origins Of The Pandemic Of Our Time
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:
The First World Aids Day
At the beginning of the 1980s, before HIV had been identified as the cause of AIDS, the infection was thought to only affect specific groups, such as gay men in developed countries and people who inject drugs. The HIV virus was first isolated by Dr Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Dr Luc Montagnier in 1983 at the Institut Pasteur. In November that year, WHO held the first meeting to assess the global AIDS situation and initiated international surveillance. It was then that the global health community understood that HIV could also spread between heterosexual people, through blood transfusions, and that infected mothers could transmit HIV to their babies.
AIDS memorial quilt displayed on the National Mall in Washington DC, USA, concurrent with the XIX World AIDS Conference
United Nations commemorative stamp to raise awareness of HIV and the AIDS epidemic
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The Hiv/aids Epidemic: The First 10 Years
On June 5, 1981, the first cases of an illness subsequentlydefined as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome werereported by health-care providers in California and CDC . Asof May 31, 1991, state and local health departments had reportedto CDC 179,136 AIDS cases among persons of all ages in the UnitedStates. By the end of 1991, AIDS will be the second leading causeof death among men 25–44 years of age and is likely to be one ofthe five leading causes of death among women aged 15–44 years inthe United States .
The World Health Organization estimates that 8–10 millionadults and 1 million children worldwide are infected with humanimmunodeficiency virus , the etiologic agent of AIDS. By theyear 2000, 40 million persons may be infected with HIV . Morethan 90% of these persons will reside in developing countries insub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, andthe Caribbean. In addition, during the 1990s, mothers or bothparents of more than 10 million children will have died from HIVinfection/AIDS.
AIDS will remain a major public health challenge worldwidein the 21st century. Education of all persons about AIDS toprevent transmission of HIV infection is critical to controllingthis problem.Reported by: Technical Information Activity, Div of HIV/AIDS,Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.
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In fact, some researchers now think the very first HIV infection in humans may have happened more than 100 years ago, in 1908 or earlier. In his new book, Spillover , author David Quammen describes how viruses that attack wild animals can sometimes spill over. That means the viruses can start attacking people.
Scientists found clues to suggest this happened with HIV after detecting a very similar virus in monkeys and in chimpanzees and other great apes. Its called SIV, which stands for simian immunodeficiency virus. The types most similar to HIV appeared in chimpanzees living in the African country of Cameroon. Based on the most recent research, Quammen reports, SIV may have spilled over in that part of Africa and become the virus known as HIV. How? Researchers believe a chimp somehow passed the virus on to a person.
Some scientists suspect that a hunter killed an infected chimp for food . In the process, the hunter could have come into contact with the animals infected blood. Perhaps the hunter had a cut or open sore. After jumping to people, Quammen writes, the virus then likely simmered for decades in nearby villages and slowly spread from one villager to another. If people died from other causes or from a second infection that overwhelmed their damaged immune systems, no one would have known they had HIV.
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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