The Origin Of HIV/AIDS

The debate over the origin of AIDS has been very interesting and disputed since the beginning of the epidemic. However, the danger of trying to identify where AIDS originated. People can use it as a matter of debate to blame a particular group or lifestyle. 

The first AIDS case was found in the U.S. in 1981, but these cases provide little information about the source of this disease. Now there is clear evidence that AIDS is caused by a virus known as HIV. So to find the source of AIDS we need to find the origin of HIV. 

The origin of HIV is not just about academic problems, because not only understand where it came from the virus but also how this virus is grown to be important to develop an HIV vaccine and more effective treatment. Also, knowledge about how the AIDS epidemic arose be important in determining the shape of the epidemic in the future as well as develop education and prevention programs are effective.

This type of virus is HIV?

HIV is part of a family or a group of viruses called lentiviruses. Lentiviruses such as HIV is found in a wide range of non-human primates. Another lentivirus, known collectively as the monkey virus known as SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) in which the subscript indicates the origin of species. 

So where HIV originated? Is HIV originated from SIV?

It is now generally accepted that HIV is a descendant of SIV. Specific SIV types similar to HIV-1 and HIV-2, two types of HIV.

For example, HIV-2 can be equated with the SIV found in sooty mangabey monkeys (SIVsm), sometimes known as green monkeys originating from western Africa.

The more virulent strains of HIV, namely HIV-1, until recently very difficult to be classified. Until 1999, the most similar is known SIV that infects chimpanzees (SIVcpz), but there are significant differences between SIVcpz and HIV.

So what happened in 1999? Are chimps now known as the origin of HIV?

In February 1999 it was announced that a group of researchers from the University of Alabama, in the U.S., has studied frozen tissue from a chimpanzee and find the type of virus (SIVcpz) is almost identical to HIV-1. Chimpanzees are from sub-group of chimpanzees known as Pan troglodyte troglodyte who once common in west-central Africa.

The researchers assert that this shows chimpanzees are the source of HIV-1, and this virus at some point crossed species from chimpanzees to humans. However, it is not clear whether the chimpanzee is the original source of HIV-1 because chimpanzees are rarely infected with SIVcpz. Therefore there is a good possibility chimps and humans are infected from a third party, namely a primate species that are still not recognizable. In any case, at least need two separate transfer to humans.

How is HIV can cross the species?

It has long been known that certain viruses can pass from animals to humans, and this process is known as zoonosis.

Researchers from the University of Alabama suggests that HIV can cross over from chimpanzees as chimpanzees kill and eat human flesh.

Several other theories are debated opinion that HIV moved in iatrogenic (caused by medical negligence party), for example through medical experiments. One well-circulated theory is that polio vaccines played a role in this movement, because the vaccine made using monkey kidneys.

But what is important in various kinds of theory is the question of when the transfer took place.

Is there a fact when the transfer took place?

Over the last few years allows not only to determine whether HIV is present in the blood, but also determine the virus subtype. Research on the virus subtype, of HIV infection in early cases may give clues about when HIV first attack humans and subsequent developments.

Three of the earliest HIV infection are as follows:

Examples of plasma (blood fluid) taken from an adult male who lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1959.
HIV found in tissue samples from an African-American youth who died in St. Louis, USA, 1969.
HIV found in tissue samples from a Norwegian sailor who died around 1976.
The analysis conducted in 1998 on plasma samples from 1959 suggests that HIV-1 into humans around the 1940s or early 1950s, earlier than previously thought. Other scientists predict even longer, probably about 100 years ago or more.

What is known in which HIV in humans appear?

Now many people think because of HIV seen develop from one type of SIV found in chimpanzees in West African type, this means that HIV first appeared in humans in there. Then presumed that HIV spread from Africa to the world.

However, as discussed above, chimpanzees are not necessarily the original source of HIV and there is a possibility the virus crossed over to humans, more than one occasion. So perhaps also HIV arise at the same time in both South America and Africa, or even appear in the American continent before appearing in Africa.

We may never know exactly when and where the virus first appeared, but certainly at some time in the mid 20s this century, HIV infection in humans developed into a worldwide epidemic that is currently better known as AIDS .

What caused the epidemic spread of a sudden?

There are several factors that can support the deployment was so sudden, including international travel, blood industry, and drug use is widespread.

International Travel

The role played by international travel in the spread of HIV is highlighted in the case now known as 'Patient Zero' (original patients). Patient Zero was a Canadian citizen airplane steward named Ga√ętan Dugas and the frequent travel throughout the world.Analysis of several cases of early AIDS-infected persons showed that these are people who have sex either directly or indirectly by this steward. These cases are found in several U.S. cities this shows the role of international travel in the spread of HIV. It also suggests that this disease may be caused by a substance spreader.

Blood Industry

While blood transfusions became a routine part of medical treatment, the blood industry to meet the demand for blood also increases. In some countries like the U.S., people who get paid to donate blood, including intravenous drug users. The blood obtained was then sent to the entire world. Also, in the late 1960s began to take advantage of hemophiliacs blood clotting, called Factor VIII.

To produce the clotting substances, the blood collected from thousands of donors that increase the likelihood of these products contaminated with HIV. Because Factor VIII spread around the world, there are likely many hemophiliacs exposed to new infections.

Use of Drugs

In the 1970s found increased availability of heroin along with the Vietnam war and other conflicts in the Middle East, which encourages the growth of injecting drug use.Increasing the provision and development tools, disposable plastic syringes and the construction of shooting gallery (where injecting drugs) where people can buy drugs and rent equipment to be another way of spreading the virus.

What other theories about the origin of HIV?

Other theories put forward about the origin of HIV, including the many conspiracy theories. Some people with HIV impressive made by the CIA, although others consider that the genetically engineered HIV. 

Original article: The Origin Of HIV

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