Canadian Flight Attendant Theory
A Canadian airline steward named Gaëtan Dugas was referred to as “Case 057” and later “Patient O” with the alphabet letter “O” standing for “outside Southern California”, in an early AIDS study by Dr. William Darrow of the Centers for Disease Control. Because of this, many people had considered Dugas to be responsible for taking HIV to North America. However, HIV reached New York City around 1971 while Dugas did not start work at Air Canada until 1974. In Randy Shilts‘ 1987 book And the Band Played On , Dugas is referred to as AIDS’s Patient Zero instead of “Patient O”, but neither the book nor the movie states that he had been the first to bring the virus to North America. He was incorrectly called “Patient Zero” because at least 40 of the 248 people known to be infected by HIV in 1983 had had sex with him, or with a person who had sexual intercourse with Dugas.
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.
Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. And people with HIV do not always have AIDS.
HIV is the virus thats passed from person to person. Over time, HIV destroys an important kind of the cell in your immune system that helps protect you from infections. When you dont have enough of these CD4 cells, your body cant fight off infections the way it normally can.
AIDS is the disease caused by the damage that HIV does to your immune system. You have AIDS when you get dangerous infections or have a super low number of CD4 cells. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it leads to death over time.
Without treatment, it usually takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. Treatment slows down the damage the virus causes and can help people stay healthy for several decades.
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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.
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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Who Was Patient Zero
The first verified case of HIV derives from a 1959 blood sample of an individual who lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, scientists cannot say whether this person was the first human with HIV, or the first documented case, known as patient zero.
There are numerous documented cases before this one in which the patterns surrounding death suggest HIV as the cause. However, there is no way to prove this through a blood sample. The 1959 sample is the first recorded case in which a blood sample can confirm HIV infection but may not be the first official emergence of HIV.
For many years, Gaétan Dugas was presumed patient zero in the U.S., originally termed patient O for outside Southern California. He was a flight attendant suspected of picking up HIV in Africa or Haiti and bringing it back to the U.S., transmitting it to dozens of men before his death.
However, an analysis into genetics in 2016 found that the viral strain Dugas had was already spreading among men in New York before he began visiting the citys gay bars. This means that Dugas was not the initial individual with HIV. It seems he was an early case but was by no means the first.
There is limited actual knowledge on how the epidemic entered the U.S. because of the challenges in tracing HIV to one individual.
, a virus that attacks the immune system of apes and monkeys.
So Where Did Covid Come From Anyway
Did the virus leap from animals straight to humans, or from a lab? The case for each. And for sweeping away secrecy.
Tyee contributing editor Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning journalist whose books and articles focus on epidemics, the energy industry, nature and more.
Three things lead to error in writing history. First, partisanship. Secondly, gullibility. Thirdly, ignorance of what is intrinsically possible. Ibn Khaldun
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In a year with plenty of gripping issues to choose from, these were the big draws in our pages.
Knowing the origin of what transpires matters. It provides meaning, and gives all life a compass.
And in the case of a viral tsunami that has killed more than five million people and subtracted trillions of dollars from the global economy, knowing its origin can also provide critical information about preventing future pandemics.
Thats why the contentious and highly political debate about whether COVID spilled from animals into humans or leaked from a Chinese laboratory merits our full attention.
Before delving deeper into this complicated story let me declare as a science journalist that I believe that both the animal spillover and lab leak hypotheses deserve equal attention and are equally probable. I am not taking sides here.
THE ANIMAL SPILLOVER THEORY
THE LAB LEAK THEORY
A WHO report with holes
A cluster of concerns in Wuhan
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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
Where Does Aids Come From
The first recognised cases of Aids occurred in America in the summer of 1981, and soon afterwards in Africa. In the beginning doctors did not know what caused this disease, and it was only in 1983 that scientists discovered that Aids is caused by a virus – now known as HIV-1.
There are two viruses associated with Aids, namely HIV-1 and HIV-2.
HIV-1 is associated with infection in most parts of Africa, America, Europe and the rest of the world, while HIV-2 occurs mostly in West-Africa. There are many subtypes of HIV-1 .
There are many theories about the origin of Aids, but the truth is that nobody really knows where Aids came from. The most widely accepted theory is that HIV crossed the species barrier from primates to humans at some time during the twentieth century.
HIV is related to a virus called SIV which is found in primates such as chimpanzees, Macaque and African green monkeys. The virus probably crossed from primates to humans when contaminated animal blood entered cuts on the hands of humans who were butchering SIV-infected animals for food.
While the initial spread of HIV was probably limited to isolated communities who had little contact with the outside world, various factors such as migration, improved transportation networks, socio-economic instability, multiple sexual partners, intravenous drug use and an exchange of blood products, ultimately caused the virus to spread all over the world.
R75 per month
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We Know When What About How
There are a few different theories about how these viruses got into the population. The idea that humans copulated with primates and subsequently became infected tickles the fancy of some, but this idea is not taken seriously by experts in the field!
The simplest explanation is that humans came into contact with the blood or other secretions of infected primates which is perfectly plausible since, for example, sooty mangabeys were both kept as pets and slaughtered for bushmeat in West Africa, the same region that HIV-2 is most prevalent. It would be easy for infected bodily fluids to come into contact with broken skin during the butchering process.
Given the fact that medical resources are costly, it is plausible that during immunization programs in Africa, healthcare professionals would have , providing ample opportunity to spread infection through the population. This, coupled with an increase in international travel alongside sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use, seems a logical explanation for the emergence of HIV.
Oral polio vaccine administration. Image credit: Julien Harneis, via Wikimedia Commons.
In sum, while it is difficult to definitively prove where HIV came from, we can make assertions based on the best available evidence. This evidence points to a simian origin, not the government. Everyone loves to hear about a good conspiracy theory, but it really does not add up here.
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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Where Did The Coronavirus Come From Past Outbreaks Provide Hints
As scientists and public health officials around the world scramble to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak, some researchers are also racing to solve the enduring mystery of where the newly identified virus came from.
The coronavirus, which first sickened people in China in December, is thought to have passed from animals to humans, like many similar pathogens, but nothing has been confirmed yet by any peer-reviewed scientific research, global public health agency or academic expert. Beyond that, little is known about its origin.
Although finding the source wouldn’t necessarily help scientists develop vaccines or other direct treatments, it could provide crucial pieces of information on how it emerged and evolved. And scientists are using lessons learned from previous outbreaks to know how to approach this one.
Hiv Is An Infection That Can Lead To Aids
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Its a virus that breaks down certain cells in your immune system . When HIV damages your immune system, its easier to get really sick and even die from infections that your body could normally fight off.
About 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and more than 38,000 new infections happen every year. Most people with HIV dont have any symptoms for many years and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they have it.
Once you have HIV, the virus stays in your body for life. Theres no cure for HIV, but medicines can help you stay healthy. HIV medicine lowers or even stops your chances of spreading the virus to other people. Studies show that using HIV treatment as directed can lower the amount of HIV in your blood so much that it might not even show up on a test when this happens, you cant transmit HIV through sex.Treatment is really important . Without treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS. But with medicine, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and stop the spread of HIV to others.
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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.
United Nations commemorative stamp to raise awareness of HIV and the AIDS epidemic
Hiv/aids In The 1990s And 2000s
In 1991, the red ribbon became an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
In that year, basketball player Magic Johnson announced he had HIV, helping to further bring awareness to the issue and dispel the stereotype of it being a gay disease. Soon after, Freddie Mercurylead singer of the band Queenannounced he had AIDS and died a day later.
In 1994, the FDA approved the first oral HIV test. Two years later, it approved the first home testing kit and the first urine test.
AIDS-related deaths and hospitalizations in developed countries began to decline sharply in 1995 thanks to new medications and the introduction of HAART. Still, by 1999, AIDS was the fourth biggest cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death in Africa.
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Activism By Aids Patients And Families
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, 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.
Epidemiology Of Hiv And Aids
Epidemiology is the study of how disease is distributed in populations and the factors that influence the distribution. Epidemiologists try to discover why a disease develops in some people and not in others. Clinically, AIDS was first recognized in the United States in 1981. In 1983 HIV was discovered to be the cause of AIDS. Since then, the number of AIDS cases has continued to increase both in the United States and in other countries.
HIV and AIDS cases are reportable each state has its own laws and healthcare workers must be familiar with those of the state in which they are licensed.
The discovery of combination antiviral drug therapies in 1996 resulted in a dramatic in the number of deaths due to AIDS among people given the drug therapies. On the down side, many people who have access to the therapies may not benefit from them or may not be able to tolerate the side effects. The medications are expensive and require strict dosing schedules. Furthermore, in developing countries many people with HIV have no access to the newer drug therapies.
CDC estimates that that there are only 4 transmissions per year for every 100 people living with HIV in the United States, which means that at least 95% of people living with HIV do not transmit the virus to anyone else. This represents an 89% decline in the transmission rate since the mid-1980s, reflecting the combined impact of testing, prevention counseling, and treatment efforts targeted to those living with HIV infection .
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