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partyrock's avatar

How did AIDS or HIV come about ? Where did AIDS come from?

Asked by partyrock (3870points) December 19th, 2011

Where did HIV come from? Did people make it ? Was it a bacteria or disease that just formed itself ? How did it really start ?

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12 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s a virus, it also has close relatives in monkeys in Africa.

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Seaofclouds's avatar

HIV is a virus that can cause AIDS. It is believed to have originated in primates in Africa. This site actually does a decent job explaining the theory of HIV coming from primates in Africa and how it transferred from primates to humans.

FutureMemory's avatar

I thought it was from less-than-sanitary butchering practices in the forests/jungles of Africa, not inter-species sex.

Kayak8's avatar

The “V” in HIV stands for virus. Bacteria are very different critters.

It is pretty much accepted science that HIV started in primates (as something now called SIV-Simian Immunodeficiency Virus).

The link provided by @Seaofclouds is pretty much on target!

filmfann's avatar

HIV is very close to strains of Ebola. Since we know Ebola comes from deep in Africa, we can guess that is where it came from.
Patient Zero is believed to have been an airline sterward.

Meego's avatar

Something to do with monkeys from what I heard.

Kayak8's avatar

@filmfann HIV is not at all similar to Ebola. Patient Zero refers to a sentinel case in Randy Shilts book “And the Band Played On” referencing a series of cases documented in the US early on in the epidemic. He was NOT the first patient, but rather an early case in the middle of a cluster of cases identified by the CDC.

filmfann's avatar

@Kayak8 Recently a protein known as cyanovirin-N found in blue-green algae has become associated with both HIV and the Ebola Virus. Cyanovirin has been found to partially inhibit the ability of both Ebola and HIV to bind and infect cells, there-by extending the host’s survival time (Barrientos, 2003). Cyanovirin has been found to bind to the outside of cells there by inhibiting their ability to cross the cellular membranes (Barrientos, 2003). Cyanovirin shows promise in its ability to attatch to sugar molecules found on the surface of both HIV and the Ebola virus (Barrientos, 2003). source

whitetigress's avatar

It is originated from Africa. It’s a pathogen from apes. Apes doesn’t equal monkey. Monkeys climb around in trees and use their tails, and leaping ability. Apes tend to be land animals. :D Well yes think of it like this. Humans have the common cold correct? It is a virus and it is endemic. Which is to say it stays amongst our population and for the most part it doesn’t really kill us at a high rate. In apes, they have a pathogen that is also endemic to them. However, if that same ape pathogen infects a human, it’s function does something much more terrible, and produces the HIV in this case. No, there’s no evidence that a human had sex with an ape. More like, the ape was eaten. And then the pathogen was transferred to the human, and HIV was born followed by AIDS. So AIDS came from HIV and HIV came from an animal not human. You should take an Biological Anthropology class in college! :D :D It’ll satisfy a science course for your GE’s.

gorillapaws's avatar

I remember reading that there were outbreaks of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (the disease that actually kills many AIDS patients after they have no immune system left to fight it off) shortly after WW2 in eastern Europe. This may be an indication of an earlier outbreak of HIV/AIDS that never was able to get a foothold and spread and eventually died out. It’s far from proof, and I’m not sure what real scientists who’ve studied the data related to that outbreak have concluded (I’d be interested to know one way or the other).

Kayak8's avatar

@filmfann It is not surprising that a single virucidal agent has efficacy against two different viruses. That doesn’t make the two viruses related. HIV is a retrovirus and Ebola is in the filoviridae family. While they are both RNA viruses, HIV can use reverse transcriptase (an enzyme it has as part of its structure) to convert its RNA to DNA.

@gorillapaws Just as a point of interest, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is now referred to as pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia but they still call it PCP. PCP did kill a lot of people at the beginning of the epidemic but it is also seen in cancer patients and others with compromised immune systems. In Eastern Europe after WWII, it is entirely possible (due to poor nutrition, living conditions, etc.) that folks got PCP completely unrelated to HIV.

@whitetigress HIV-1 is a pathogen that is believed to have started in monkeys with a transmission line to apes before humans. And HIV-2 seems to have originated among sooty mangabeys. Link

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