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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:43 AM

HIV virus 'has ancient origins'

The origins of HIV can be traced back millions rather than tens of thousands of years, research suggests.

HIV, which causes AIDS, emerged in humans in the 20th Century, but scientists have long known that similar viruses in monkeys and apes have existed for much longer.

A genetic study shows HIV-like viruses arose in African monkeys and apes 5 million to 12 million years ago.

The research may one day lead to a better understanding of HIV and AIDS.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21189141

11 replies, 1363 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply HIV virus 'has ancient origins' (Original post)
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 OP
Live and Learn Jan 2013 #1
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #3
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
NorthCarolina Jan 2013 #4
Javaman Jan 2013 #5
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #6
Javaman Jan 2013 #7
Marrah_G Jan 2013 #9
Warpy Jan 2013 #10
undeterred Jan 2013 #11
and-justice-for-all Jan 2013 #8

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:56 AM

1. Perhaps we should be paying more attention to the health of coexisting species

on our planet.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:10 AM

3. SIV doesn't necessarily make them sick

It's a well-adapted virus in some populations. Apparently not in all:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simian_immunodeficiency_virus

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:22 AM

2. Du rec. Nt

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:12 AM

4. Around forever and yet never appearing in humans

until the latter portion of the 20th century. Curious.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:22 AM

5. Not really all that curious...

as population expands so does industrialization. While HIV has been around forever, it probably existed a in micro-ecosystem which didn't effect much outside that realm. When expansion of the land, to suit population growth increased, the micro-ecosystem it once thrived in, but limited it's growth expansion, allowed it to explode with new avenues for it to spread.

The same effect can be said for various other "new" types of virus that have been recently "discovered". (I use quotes because virus are some of the oldest living organism on the earth)

New forms of hemorrhagic fever are being discovered almost every other year now because of areas of the earth that hadn't been disturbed until now.

It's only going to increase as deforestation increases.

The areas to pay attention to are the Amazon, The Congo Basin, Viet Nam and Cambodia. Those are the hotbeds.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:56 AM

6. Last documentary I saw on the subject

conveyed that hemorrhagics come from something further down the food chain from monkeys - fruit bats whatever.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:33 AM

7. Yeah, fruit bats are a source for a few types of

Hemorrhagic fever and perhaps the original host. I read that last year.

The worst part is: with the gross over use of anti-bacterial drugs in the 90's and 2000's the jump in the number of cases involving "super-bugs" has increased dramatically to the point were now there are several strains of once easily dealt with virus that are now immune. MRSA for example scares the living crap out of me.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:24 AM

9. You never know when a virus will jump species

There is some scary shit out there.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:33 AM

10. Chances are that it did appear

when people butchered infected bush meat and had open cuts on their hands. Chances are very good that no one in the village knew why they were losing weight so rapidly or why they died. Villages were isolated and there wasn't much chance for the disease to spread.

It wasn't until roads and work camps and the prostitutes that serviced those camps came in that the disease was able to take hold in the general population there, spreading quickly between work camp and the villages.

The best information now says the major jump happened around 1900, give or take 20 years.

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Response to NorthCarolina (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:42 PM

11. It appeared in humans in the mid 20th century

but wasn't identified in labs until the 1980s.

I spent the summer of 1978 in Central African Republic living with missionaries. One of the first things they told me when I got there was that the people had been dying off for over twenty years - they knew there was a new disease other than the regular tropical diseases and that it was sexually transmitted and passed from mother to child. The local people called it "slim disease" because people wasted away and caught other diseases and died. It was very common to eat "bush meat" which included chimpanzees.

So I think there is good reason to think the disease was rampant in Central Africa since the fifties. Nobody paid attention when it was killing people out in the bush where there was no medical care or organized government at all.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:20 PM

8. "emerged in humans in the 20th Century" that is wrong...

HIV has been infecting humans since 1850 or 1870.

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