History of HIV/AIDS: Difference between revisions

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==== How ====
==== How ====
According to the 'Hunter Theory', the "simplest and most plausible explanation for the cross-species transmission",<ref name=Sharp2001/> the virus was transmitted from a chimpanzee to a human when a [[bushmeat]] hunter was bitten or cut while hunting or butchering an animal. The resulting exposure of the hunter to blood or other bodily fluids of the chimpanzee could have resulted in infection.<ref name="avert">{{cite web|author=Annabel Kanabus & Sarah Allen. Updated by Bonita de Boer|publisher=[[AVERT]] (an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK)|year=2007|url=http://www.avert.org/origins.htm|title=The Origins of HIV & the First Cases of AIDS|accessdate=2007-02-28}}</ref>
According to the 'Hunter Theory', the "simplest and most plausible explanation for the cross-species transmission",<ref name=Sharp2001/> the virus was transmitted from a chimpanzee to a human when a [[bushmeat]] hunter was bitten or cut while hunting or butchering an animal. The resulting exposure of the hunter to blood or other bodily fluids of the chimpanzee could have resulted in infection.<ref name="avert">{{cite web|author=Annabel Kanabus & Sarah Allen. Updated by Bonita de Boer|publisher=[[AVERT]] (an international HIV and AIDS charity based in the UK)|year=2007|url=http://www.avert.org/origins.htm|title=The Origins of HIV & the First Cases of AIDS|accessdate=2007-02-28}}</ref> Aids was created by the World Health Organization in the middle to late 1970s it is a BIO-Chemical Weapon created by the US GOvernment wake up !!!!!
===Method of spread===
===Method of spread===

Revision as of 00:01, 4 August 2009

False-color Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding from cultured lymphocyte.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, originated in non-human primates in sub-Saharan Africa and was transferred to humans during the late 19th or early 20th century.

Two types of HIV infect humans: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is more virulent, is easily transmitted and is the cause of the majority of HIV infections globally.[1] HIV-1 is closely related to a virus found in chimpanzees, and molecular phylogenetics indicates that the HIV-1 virus appeared sometime between 1884 and 1924 in equatorial Africa.[2] HIV-2 is less transmittable and is largely confined to West Africa, along with its closest relative, a virus of the Sooty Mangabey (Cercocebus atys), an Old World monkey of Guinea-Bissau, Gabon, and Cameroon.[1]

Spread from animal to human populations

Most HIV researchers agree that HIV evolved from the closely related Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), and that HIV was transferred from non-human primates to humans in the recent past (as a type of zoonosis). Research in this area is conducted using molecular phylogenetics, comparing viral genomic sequences to determine relatedness.

HIV-1 spread from chimpanzees


Because HIV-1 is closely related to a strain of the simian immunodeficiency virus that infects the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes (SIVcpz), scientists generally accept[3][4] that the virus originated in populations of wild chimpanzees in West-Central Africa.[5] Exactly where this occurred—in the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon (modern East Province) near the Sanaga River, or further south near Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo—has been a matter of scientific discussion.[6][5][7]


Using HIV-1 sequences preserved in human biological samples along with estimates of viral mutation rates, scientists calculate that the jump from chimpanzee to human probably happened during the late 19th or early 20th century, a time of rapid urbanisation and colonisation in equatorial Africa. Exactly when the zoonosis occurred is not known. Some estimates suggest that HIV-1 (group M) entered the human population in the early 20th century, probably between 1915 and 1941.[8][9] A study published in 2008, analyzing viral sequences recovered from a recently-discovered 1960 biopsy along with previously-known sequences, suggested a common ancestor between 1884 and 1924.[2][10]

Genetic recombination had earlier been thought to "seriously confound" such phylogenetic analysis, but later "work has suggested that recombination is not likely to systematically bias [results]", although recombination is "expected to increase variance".[2] The results of phlyogenetics study supported the later work and indicated that HIV evolves "fairly reliably".[2][11]


According to the 'Hunter Theory', the "simplest and most plausible explanation for the cross-species transmission",[3] the virus was transmitted from a chimpanzee to a human when a bushmeat hunter was bitten or cut while hunting or butchering an animal. The resulting exposure of the hunter to blood or other bodily fluids of the chimpanzee could have resulted in infection.[12] Aids was created by the World Health Organization in the middle to late 1970s it is a BIO-Chemical Weapon created by the US GOvernment wake up !!!!!

Method of spread

Zoonosis (transfer of a pathogen from non-human animals to humans) and subsequent spread of the pathogen between humans, requires the following conditions:

  1. a human population;
  2. a nearby population of a host animal;
  3. an infectious pathogen in the host animal that can spread from animal to human;
  4. interaction between the species to transmit enough of the pathogen to humans to establish a human foothold, which could have taken millions of individual exposures;
  5. ability of the pathogen to spread from human to human (perhaps acquired by mutation);
  6. some method allowing the pathogen to disperse widely, preventing the infection from "burning out" by either killing off its human hosts or provoking immunity in a local population of humans.

Conditions that facilitated the establishment and spread of infection in human populations may have included the reuse of needles for injectable antibiotics, antimalarial drugs and vaccines;[13] an increase in bushmeat hunting and immune suppression as a result of the harsh conditions, forced labor and displacement associated with colonialism, particularly in French Equatorial Africa;[14] rapid urbanisation that brought infected people into close contact with others; and colonial commerce that provided opportunities for further geographical spread.[10]

SIV in non-human primates tends to cause a non-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 nef 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.[15]

History of known cases and spread

1955–1957: British printer (possible AIDS death)

The oldest documented possible case of the then-unknown syndrome was thought to have been detected in 1959, when a 25-year-old British printer (usually referred to, mistakenly, as a sailor) who had travelled in the navy between 1955 and 1957 (but apparently not to Africa) sought help at the Royal Infirmary of Manchester, England. He reported to have been suffering from puzzling symptoms, among them purplish skin lesions, for nearly two years. His condition had taken a turn for worse during Christmas 1958, when he started suffering from shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, rapid weight loss, night sweats and high fever. The doctors thought he might be suffering from tuberculosis and, even though they found no evidence of bacterial infection, they treated him for tuberculosis just to be safe, to no avail. The printer continued to weaken and he died shortly after in August 1959. His autopsy revealed evidence of two unusual infections, cytomegalovirus and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP, later, when redetermined as P. jirovecii, renamed Pneumocystis pneumonia), very rare at the time but now commonly associated with AIDS patients. His case had puzzled his doctors, who preserved tissue samples from him and for years retained some interest in solving the mystery.

Sir Robert Platt, then president of the Royal College of Physicians, wrote in the printer's hospital chart that he wondered "If we are in for a new wave of virus disease now that the bacterial illnesses are so nearly conquered". It was only 31 years later, after the AIDS pandemic had become well-known and widespread, that they decided to perform HIV-tests on the preserved tissues of the printer, which initially turned out a positive result. The case was reported in the July 7, 1990 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet; their claim was retracted in a letter in the January 20, 1996 issue where they reported that the tissue sample had become contaminated in the laboratory.[16][17][18]

1959: Congolese man

One of the earliest documented HIV-1 infections was discovered in a preserved blood sample taken in 1959 from a man from Leopoldville, Belgian Congo (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo).[19] However, it is unknown whether this anonymous person ever developed AIDS and died of its complications.[19]

1960: Congolese woman

A second early documented HIV-1 infection was discovered in a preserved lymph node biopsy sample taken in 1960 from a woman from Leopoldville, Belgian Congo.[2]

1969: Robert R.

In 1969, a 15-year-old African-American male known to medicine as Robert R. died at the St. Louis City Hospital from aggressive Kaposi's sarcoma. AIDS was suspected as early as 1984, and in 1987, researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine confirmed this, finding HIV-1 in his preserved blood and tissues. The doctors who worked on his case at the time suspected he was a prostitute, though the patient did not discuss his sexual history with them in detail.[20][21][22][23][24]

1969: Arvid Noe

In 1976, a Norwegian sailor named Arvid Noe, his wife, and his nine-year-old daughter died of AIDS. The sailor had first presented symptoms in 1969, eight years after he first spent time in ports along the West African coastline. A gonorrhea infection during his first African voyage shows he was sexually active at this time. Tissue samples from the sailor and his wife were tested in 1988 and found to contain the HIV-1 virus (Group O).[25][26][27]

Spread to the western hemisphere

HIV-1 strains are thought to have arrived in the United States from Haiti in the late 1960s or early 1970s.[28] HIV-1 is believed to have arrived in Haiti from central Africa, possibly through professional contacts with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[29]

Because of the long incubation period of HIV (up to a decade or longer) before symptoms of AIDS appear, and because of the initially low incidence, AIDS was not noticed at first. By the time the first reported cases of AIDS were found in large United States cities, the prevalence of HIV infection in some communities had passed 5%.[30] Worldwide, HIV infection has spread from urban to rural areas, and has appeared in regions such as China and India.

Canadian flight attendant theory

A Canadian airline steward named Gaëtan Dugas was referred to as "Patient 0" in an early AIDS study by Dr. William Darrow of the Centers for Disease Control. Many people consider Dugas to be responsible for bringing HIV to North America. This is considered inaccurate, as HIV had spread long before Dugas began his career. This rumor may have started with Randy Shilts' 1987 book And the Band Played On (and the movie based on it, in which Dugas is referred to as AIDS' Patient Zero), but neither the book nor the movie state him to have been the first to bring the virus to North America. He was called "Patient Zero" because at least 40 of the 248 people known to be infected by AIDS in 1983 had had sexual intercourse with him, or with someone who had sexual intercourse with him.

The current consensus is that HIV was introduced to North America by a Haitian immigrant who contracted it while working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the late 1960s, or from another person who worked there during that time.[31]

1981–2: From GRID to AIDS

The AIDS epidemic officially began on June 5, 1981, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report newsletter reported unusual clusters of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) caused by a form of Pneumocystis carinii (now recognized as a distinct species Pneumocystis jirovecii) in five homosexual men in Los Angeles.[32]

Over the next 18 months, more PCP clusters were discovered among otherwise healthy men in cities throughout the country, along with other opportunistic diseases (such as Kaposi's sarcoma[33] and persistent, generalized lymphadenopathy[34]), common in immunosuppressed patients.

In June 1982, a report of a group of cases amongst gay men in Southern California suggested that a sexually transmitted infectious agent might be the etiological agent,[35] and the syndrome was initially termed "GRID", or gay-related immune deficiency.[36]

Health authorities soon realized that nearly half of the people identified with the syndrome were not homosexual men. The same opportunistic infections were also reported among hemophiliacs,[37] heterosexual intravenous drug users, and Haitian immigrants.[38]

By August 1982, the disease was being referred to by its new CDC-coined name: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).[39]

Identification of the virus

May 1983: LAV

In May 1983, doctors from Dr. Luc Montagnier's team at the Pasteur Institute in France, reported that they had isolated a new retrovirus from lymphoid ganglions that they believed was the cause of AIDS.[40] The virus was later named lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) and a sample was sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which was later passed to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).[41][40]

May 1984: HTLV-III

In May 1984 a team led by Robert Gallo of the United States confirmed the discovery of the virus, but they renamed it human T lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III).[42]

Jan 1985: both found to be the same

In January 1985 a number of more detailed reports were published concerning LAV and HTLV-III, and by March it was clear that the viruses were the same, were from the same source, and were the etiological agent of AIDS.[43][44]

May 1986: the name HIV

In May 1986, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses ruled that both names should be dropped and a new name, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), be used.[45]

Genetic studies

According to a 2008 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, a team lead by Robert Shafer at Stanford University School of Medicine has discovered that the Gray Mouse Lemur has an endogenous lentivirus (the genus to which HIV belongs) 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 into place when Madagascar was still yet 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 mammalia. 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.[46][47]

Alternative hypotheses

Several alternative hypotheses for the origin of AIDS have been proposed. AIDS denialism argues that HIV or AIDS does not exist or that AIDS is not caused by HIV; some of its proponents believe that AIDS is caused by lifestyle, including sexuality or drug use. Some conspiracy theories allege that HIV was created in a bioweapons laboratory, perhaps as an agent of genocide or an accident. Scientific studies contradict these hypotheses, which have been rejected by scientific consensus.

See also


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