Scientists trace AIDS virus origin to 100 years ago

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    Oct 02, 2008 3:30 AM GMT
    Story Highlights

    Study: AIDS virus origin decades earlier than scientists previously thought

    Genetic analysis pushes estimated origin of HIV to between 1884 and 1924

    "Virus was circulating under our radar even longer than we knew," author says

    Infections usually take years to produce obvious symptoms, experts say

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/10/01/aids.virus.origin.ap/index.html

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    Oct 02, 2008 1:59 PM GMT
    That was an interesting read! icon_smile.gif

    I think the age of the virus, as well as the rate at which it mutates, give rise to the many strains of the virus. This makes finding a generalized "cure" even more difficult.
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    Oct 02, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    I think this is fantastic news. It could mean that there is a protien common to all HIV that can be targeted for the destruction of each individual little virus. The earliest mutations may show this.
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    Oct 02, 2008 9:27 PM GMT
    Hmm, that's a bit shady. There's a good book on the subject called Up The River (I think) which talks about the origins of the virus. If this virus has been around for that long, what happened after the 1950's to make it so global? It's just a big mystery for me.
  • GQjock

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    Oct 02, 2008 11:22 PM GMT
    Interesting...
    Pathogens, esp viruses have a tendency to lie dormant in a population for Years and explode onto the scene just when the conditions become right

    This is the way the influenza virus has worked for time immemorial
    viruses like Ebola too

    So it makes perfect sense that HIV works along the pandemic criteria
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    Oct 02, 2008 11:47 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidHmm, that's a bit shady. There's a good book on the subject called Up The River (I think) which talks about the origins of the virus. If this virus has been around for that long, what happened after the 1950's to make it so global? It's just a big mystery for me.


    Here's what the AP article on the topic said about that:

    Scientists say HIV descended from a chimpanzee virus that jumped to humans in Africa, probably when people butchered chimps. Many individuals were probably infected that way, but so few other people caught the virus that it failed to get a lasting foothold, researchers say.

    But the growth of African cities may have changed that by putting lots of people close together and promoting prostitution, [Michael] Worobey [of the University of Arizona, an author of the new work], suggested. "Cities are kind of ideal for a virus like HIV," providing more chances for infected people to pass the virus to others, he said.


    I suspect that the rise of commercial air travel in the 1950's and 1960's helped spread it after that.
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    Oct 05, 2008 11:07 AM GMT
    However, Reverand Jeremiah Wright says that HIV was created by White People to kill Black People. How can you Democrats refute this revelation?

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    Oct 05, 2008 12:21 PM GMT
    John43620 saidHowever, Reverand Jeremiah Wright says that HIV was created by White People to kill Black People. How can you Democrats refute this revelation?


    Interesting, John. I've seen you claim, rightly, that the religious nutcases on your side don't speak for the Republican party, and yet you'd appoint the nutcases on the Democratic side spokesmen for the entire party?
  • coolarmydude

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    Oct 05, 2008 1:09 PM GMT
    John43620 said, "However, Reverand Jeremiah Wright says that HIV was created by White People to kill Black People. How can you Democrats refute this revelation?"


    John, calm down. Please point out where anyone ever on these forums embraced Reverand Wright? If you find any, it won't be much of anything.
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    Oct 05, 2008 1:27 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidHmm, that's a bit shady. There's a good book on the subject called Up The River (I think) which talks about the origins of the virus. If this virus has been around for that long, what happened after the 1950's to make it so global? It's just a big mystery for me.


    Blame the spread of HIV after the 1950s on the invention of the jet engine and the development of large commercial jet aircraft such as the Boeing 747. They are responsible for making air travel much cheaper resulting in people travelling around the world in much greater numbers. It was not until 1960 that over 100 million travelled by air (excluding the USSR). In 2000 it was over 1.6 billion.

    In the book "And The Band Played On" an Air Canada flight attendant is pinpointed as the so-called "Patient Zero". A bit unfairly I feel, but people like him who travelled around the world and were sexually active with many different people (e.g. in bathhouses), unwittingly spread the virus.