Drs. Niesel and Herzog Medical Discovery News - bridging the world of medical discovery and you...
HomeAbout UsRadio ShowsPodcastListener QuestionsRadio StationsContactsReliable LinksStudents

Radio Shows | The Origin of AIDS | mp3wmawav

Today, we'll explore The Origin of AIDS: It Came From Outer Space, Didn't It? One of the world's deadliest viruses also has a number of conspiracy theories about its origin.

Just Google AIDS to find fascinating theories: it came from outer space, it escaped from a U.S. lab, or it's the result of a government plot. The virus that causes AIDS is HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency virus.

A million people in the US live with AIDS, while forty million people do worldwide. The numbers indicate HIV remains a global crisis.

Evidence suggests it didn't start out in humans. The earliest known AIDS virus was identified in a man's blood sample taken in 1959 in Kinshasa, Zaire.

Scientists discovered something interesting: The genetic information from that 1959 viral sample looked a lot like a chimp virus. We now believe that virus jumped from chimps to humans to become HIV sometime in the 1930's.

How could a chimp virus jump into humans? It's actually not unusual. Many human viral infections come from infected animals. One recent example is the West Nile virus which came from birds.

Chimp viruses can mutate quickly.almost as if they're searching for an unlocked door in humans. And, in the case of the chimp virus.it found a way and became the HIV virus we know today.

For some people this explanation about the origin of AIDS may not suffice - and they'll hang on to conspiracy theories no matter how absurd.

As long as we continue to take AIDS seriously, practice safe sex and do valuable research maybe one day the virus will just be that… a conspiracy theory with no more victims.

Click here to email this page to a friend.

For more information...

Nature. 1999 Feb 4;397(6718):436-41.
Origin of HIV-1 in the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes troglodytes.
Gao F, Bailes E, Robertson DL, Chen Y, Rodenburg CM, Michael SF, Cummins LB, Arthur LO, Peeters M, Shaw GM, Sharp PM, Hahn BH.
Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, USA.

The human AIDS viruses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2) represent cross-species (zoonotic) infections. Although the primate reservoir of HIV-2 has been clearly identified as the sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys), the origin of HIV-1 remains uncertain. Viruses related to HIV-1 have been isolated from the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), but only three such SIVcpz infections have been documented, one of which involved a virus so divergent that it might represent a different primate lentiviral lineage. In a search for the HIV-1 reservoir, we have now sequenced the genome of a new SIVcpzstrain (SIVcpzUS) and have determined, by mitochondrial DNA analysis, the subspecies identity of all known SIVcpz-infected chimpanzees. We find that two chimpanzee subspecies in Africa, the central P. t. troglodytes and the eastern P. t. schweinfurthii, harbour SIVcpz and that their respective viruses form two highly divergent (but subspecies-specific) phylogenetic lineages. All HIV-1 strains known to infect man, including HIV-1 groups M, N and O, are closely related to just one of these SIVcpz lineages, that found in P. t. troglodytes. Moreover, we find that HIV-1 group N is a mosaic of SIVcpzUS- and HIV-1-related sequences, indicating an ancestral recombination event in a chimpanzee host. These results, together with the observation that the natural range of P. t. troglodytes coincides uniquely with areas of HIV-1 group M, N and O endemicity, indicate that P. t. troglodytes is the primary reservoir for HIV-1 and has been the source of at least three independent introductions of SIVcpz into the human population. PMID: 9989410 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

"Missing link" in origin of HIV revealed
NewScientist.com news service 12:20 01 March 2002 Emma Young
A revealing new subtype of the simian form of HIV has been found in 19 greater spot-nose monkeys in Cameroon. The discovery may help answer important questions about the origins of HIV, and could provide new clues on to how to fight AIDS. In 1999, a team led by Beatrice Hahn at the University of Alabama pinpointed one particular subspecies of chimpanzee in west central Africa as the source of the SIV strain that gave rise to HIV-1, one of the two strains that causes AIDS.
For more information...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the principal agency in the United States government for protecting the health and safety of all Americans and for providing essential human services, especially for those people who are least able to help themselves. The Centers for Disease Control -CDC's HIV mission is to prevent HIV infection and reduce the incidence of HIV-related illness and death, in collaboration with community, state, national, and international partners. CDC's programs work to improve treatment, care, and support for persons living with HIV and to help build capacity and infrastructure to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This site has a compendium of useful information on HIV, prevention, treatment and research.
For more information...

AIDSinfo is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) project that offers the latest federally approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment and prevention, and medical practice guidelines for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends, health care providers, scientists, and researchers.

Clinical Trials: AIDSinfo offers information on federally and privately funded clinical trials for AIDS patients and others infected with HIV. AIDS clinical trials evaluate experimental drugs and other therapies for adults and children at all stages of HIV infection - from patients who are HIV positive with no symptoms to those with various symptoms of AIDS.

Medical Guidelines: AIDSinfo serves as the main dissemination point for federally approved HIV treatment and prevention guidelines, AIDSinfo provides information about the current treatment regimens for HIV infection and AIDS-related illnesses, including the prevention of HIV transmission from occupational exposure and mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.

The AIDSinfo project is 100% federally funded. All of the information from the AIDSinfo staff, Web site, and other project resources is from federal government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and others. For more information...

The Center for HIV Information (CHI), a program of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, partners with government agencies, foundations, and international organizations to identify and develop information on HIV care, prevention, and policy. This information is disseminated to care providers, researchers, and policymakers nationally and worldwide through electronic media, including Internet and CD-ROM. CHI develops strategies for reaching those areas and individuals in greatest need of high-quality, practical information on HIV/AIDS. The stated vision of this center is reduction of the impact of HIV/AIDS through universal access to information. The mission of the University of California San Francisco Center for HIV Information is to advance the prevention and care of HIV infection and related illnesses worldwide through the development, organization and dissemination of expert knowledge.
For more information...

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of ten UN system organizations to the global AIDS response. Cosponsors include UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Based in Geneva, the UNAIDS secretariat works on the ground in more than 75 countries world wide. For more information...

NAM is an award-winning, community-based organization, which works from the UK. It delivers HIV information across the world to HIV-positive people and to the professionals who treat, support and care for them. NAM is a UK registered charity number 1011220. On this site you can find original, daily news on developments in the world of HIV. The site also includes completely searchable databases of HIV treatment and care, worldwide HIV organiZation listings, and one of the most comprehensive ranges of patient information available on the web.
For more information...

The Global Health Council is a large worldwide membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. It has a diverse membership comprised of health-care professionals and organizations that include NGOs, foundations, corporations, government agencies and academic institutions that work to ensure global health for all. The mission of the Global Health alliance is to ensure that all who strive for improvement and equity in global health have the information and resources they need to succeed.
For more information...


home | about us | radio shows | podcast | listener questions | radio stations | contact us | links | students | disclaimer

2006-2007 Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog. All Rights Reserved.
The University of Texas Medical Branch. Please review our site policies.
Send mail to J. Junemann with questions or comments about this web site.