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.
Are There Other Theories About How The Virus Could Have Gotten Into Humans
There are several competing theories, ranging from implausible conspiracies to arguments grounded in extensive research. The best-known of the latter, the “OPV/AIDS” theory, was exhaustively detailed in the 1999 book The River, by author Edward Hooper. As many as a million Africans were given oral polio vaccines between 1957 and 1960. Hooper says witnesses have told him that a few batches of those vaccines were “grown” in chimp cells at a lab in Kisangani, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — and that the chimp cells, and thus the vaccines, could have contained SIVs that jumped into humans. “There are highly significant correlations between the places where this vaccine was administered and the places where â¦ AIDS first appeared on the planet four to 20 years later,” Hooper says.
The majority of HIV researchers subscribe to the bushmeat theory and raise several arguments against the OPV theory. Hahn’s recent research confirming that HIV-1 M and N arose from Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimps in Cameroon presents one problem: The Kisangani lab is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it’s home to a different subspecies of chimp than the one that was the source of HIV-1 M and N. However, it is possible that the chimps used in the Kisangani experiments were not from the area. In the spring of 2006, Hooper found a paper indicating that at least one of eight chimps at the Kisangani lab was a Pan troglodytes troglodytes.
Tracing The Origin Of Hiv
There exists an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that HIV arose from cross-species transmission of closely related viruses that are found naturally in various primate hosts in Africa.
By looking at the genomes of these viruses, which are collectively known as simian immunodeficiency viruses , and comparing them with those of the different types of HIV we can see that the SIVs are the closest relatives of HIV. Furthermore, geographical correlations exist between SIVs in their different hosts and HIV.
HIV-1 and HIV-2 have different origins as they arose from independent transmission events. Closely related SIVs have been found in monkeys called sooty mangabeys in Western Africa, which is the only region that HIV-2 is endemic in. Therefore, scientists conclude that HIV-2 has its origins in SIV infected sooty mangabeys.
HIV-1 is a little more complicated, but each different group arose from a single transmission event. M and N have been traced back to SIV infected chimpanzees , but the closest relatives of O and P have been found in gorillas.
Image credit: Chi King, via Wikimedia Commons.
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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:
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.
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How Does Hiv Become Aids
The HIV virus targets T cells, infecting them and making more copies of the virus. After a long period of time without treatment, the virus destroys the infected T cells so the immune function of the body is compromised. CD4 cells are a type of T cell targeted by the HIV virus. When CD4 cell counts become very low , AIDS is present.
Where Did Hiv Originate
A chimpanzee version of the HIV virus, known as simian immunodeficiency virus , was believed to be transmitted to humans when chimpanzees were hunted for meat in West Africa, causing humans to come into contact with blood of the infected animals. After humans acquired it, the virus is believed to have mutated to its present form. This transfer to humans may have taken place as early as the late 1800s. The virus spread across Africa and finally to other parts of the world.
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Activism By Aids Patients And Families
In New York City, Nathan Fain, Larry Kramer, Larry Mass, Paul Popham, Paul Rapoport, and Edmund White officially established the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982.
Also in 1982, Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz published How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach. In this short work, they described ways gay men could be sexual and affectionate while dramatically reducing the risk of contracting or spreading HIV. Both authors were themselves gay men living with AIDS. This booklet was one of the first times men were advised to use condoms when having sexual relations with other men.
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, there was very little information about the disease. Also, because AIDS affected stigmatized groups, such as LGBTQ and people of low socioeconomic status, there wasn’t much mass media coverage initially when the epidemic started. However, with the rise of activist groups composed of people suffering from AIDS, either directly or through a loved one, more public attention was brought to the epidemic.
Where We Are Now: 2000
Since 2000, additional factors have begun contribute to the the global spread of HIV. Heroin addiction in Asia has been on the rise, which brought with it dirty needles and the risk of new infections. India suffered with over 2 million diagnoses alone, in spite of the government’s refusal to admit the epidemic had adversely affected the nation.
The WHO released its comprehensive report examining HIV and AIDS in all of its 25-year history in 2010. This report had good news for developed nations: by 2008, the U.S. domestic HIV infection rate was considered effectively stable, and has remained so to this day. The report also demonstrated that while insistent public awareness campaigns about safe sex and other methods of transmission had slowed the rate of HIV infection in developed countries, there was much to be done elsewhere.
Global Education and Aid Efforts
Under President Bush, the U.S. committed funds to help African countries, but the funds were mismanaged and the spread of HIV continued unabated. Of the 4.1 million cases in sub-Saharan Africa then, only 1% received the available drugs. This led to the WHO’s declaration of the failure to treat the 6 million AIDS patients living in developing nations as a global public health emergency.
HIV Denialism Disrupts Aid
By the time Mbeki was recalled from the presidency in 2008 and one year before the FDA approved its 100th HIV/AIDs drug, an estimated 16.9% of South Africans aged 15-49 were HIV positive.
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How Confident Can We Be That Hiv Crossed Into Humans Before The 1950s
In the view of Paul Sharp of Nottingham University, the available evidence from phylogenetic studies shows close agreement using different methodologies. Presentations yesterday by Betty Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory in the USA and Anne-Mieke Vandamme of the Rega Institute in Belgium both dated the last common ancestor for all HIV group M sub-types at around 1930, and if this ancestor was a human immunodeficiency virus, this would be the very latest date at which transfer might have occurred. The Rega Institute group estimate the transfer could have occurred anywhere between 1590 and 1760, with 1675 the most likely date.
A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem. The purpose of a research study is to test whether the hypothesis is true or not.
Samples Collected From Wildlife In Thailand
While its true that most emerging diseases affecting humans come from wildlife, its often human behavior that is to blame for the spillover. Humans are tearing down forests and hunting, eating, and selling wild animals at unprecedented rates. Each exotic animal shipped across the ocean to be sold as a pet is an sveacasino opportunity for a new pathogen to take root in a new continent. Each tree ripped from its roots increases interactions between humans and wild animals, and thus the odds that viruses will find new populations to infect.
But the good news is: If were the ones causing the problem, were the ones who can stop it.
At EcoHealth Alliance, were striving toward a world where pandemics like the one caused by HIV/AIDS are a thing of the past. Join us.
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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.
Background To The Aids Conspiracy
Rock Hudson, an actor who died from AIDS complications in 1985
An epidemic that struck our nation in the 1980s was the AIDS epidemic. While HIV/AIDS it still a deadly disease worldwide, it is currently controlled better in America than other parts of the world, mainly Africa. While much of it can now be maintained and treated, it was a disease that took the United States by storm in the 1980s as it killed many Americans in a short time period. The HIV/AIDS scare of the 1980s and 1990s reached dramatic heights when several famous actors and musicians died from this disease. The picture to the right is of famous Hollywood actor Rock Hudson, who passed away from complication of the disease in October of 1985.
While AIDS occurred in a number of individuals, the most widely affected were the homosexual community and African-Americans. The United States Government has long proclaimed that the origins of AIDS were coming from primates in Africa in the 1930s. The support was that humans who interacted with these primates were passed this deadly virus. The AIDS virus could then be passed to other humans through sexual intercourse or some type of blood transfusion. While this is the common idea shared by most, there are others who have their own HIV conspiracy theories that are quite different from what most scientists have suggested and have a belief that aids is man made.
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Stigma In The Early Years
When the first few cases of AIDS emerged, people believed the disease was only contracted by men who had sex with men. The CDC called this infection GRIDS, or gay-related immunodeficiency syndrome. Shortly after, the CDC published a case definition calling the disease AIDS.
Public response was negative in the early years of the epidemic. In 1983, a doctor in New York was threatened with eviction, leading to the first AIDS discrimination lawsuit.
Bathhouses across the country closed due to high-risk sexual activity. Some schools also barred children with HIV from attending.
In 1987, the United States placed a travel ban on visitors and immigrants with HIV. President Obama lifted this ban in 2010.
The United States government resisted funding needle exchange programs due to the war on drugs. NEPs were shown to be effective at reducing HIV transmission. Some believe that this resistance accounts for 4,400 to 9,700 avoidable transmissions.
Homeless People And Intravenous Drug Users In New York
A volunteer social worker called Betty Williams, a Quaker who worked with the homeless in New York from the seventies and early eighties onwards, has talked about people at that time whose death would be labelled as “junkie flu” or “the dwindles”. In an interview for the Act Up Oral History Project in 2008, she said: “Of course, the horror stories came, mainly concerning women who were injection-drug users … who had PCP pneumonia , and were told that they just had bronchitis.” She continues: “I actually believe that AIDS kind of existed among this group of people first, because if you look back, there was something called junkie pneumonia, there was something called the dwindles that addicts got, and I think this was another early AIDS population way too helpless to ever do anything for themselves on their own behalf.”
Julia Epstein writes in her book Altered Conditions: Disease, Medicine and Storytelling that: “As we uncover more of the early history of HIV infection, it becomes clear that by at least the 1970s the virus was already making major inroads into the immune systems of a number of diverse populations in the United States and had for some time been causing devastation in several countries in Africa.”
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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.”