Where Did HIV Originate First
Have you ever wondered how a virus that has killed over 35 million people since 1959 originate?. The answer may surprise you.
Where did HIV originate?
To begin with, humans are not the original carrier of HIV, but our close cousin, the chimpanzees. Surprisingly, they lived quite happily with the virus in the wild, as it has never been as threatening to the chimpanzees as they are to the mankind. HIV is zoonotic in nature, which means it has been transmitted between species, which in this case was chimpanzees to human. . as the disease is known as Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or SIV when it affects primates like monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. However, the name changes to HIV once it hits a human. According to experts, the virus was transmitted from chimpanzees to humans in the 1800s in the Central African Region. It was theorized that the virus was passed on to humans when they came into contact with their blood because of hunting and eating their meat for survival. In the next decades, the virus was spread across the African continent and then across the globe by the mid-70s, taking the shape of a pandemic.
During the early 1980s, doctors started to receive rare cases of pneumonia, cancer, and other diseases. Later, these were linked to HIV, that resulted in various other immunity related health conditions.
Is there only one type of HIV?
The answer is no. Health experts discovered and indexed two variants of the virus: HIV-1 and HIV-2. These two also have different histories of where they first originated.
HIV-1 is a strain closely linked to the one found in chimpanzees. Meanwhile, HIV-2 is associated with the strain of SIV discovered in sooty mangabeys monkeys. However, the story of how they were transmitted to human is the same – contact with blood through hunting and meat eating.
Myths on the origin of HIV
In the past few decades, a lot of false conception about the origin of HIV has been formulated and passed on. Usually, these are irrelevant and not backed with scientific data and discoveries. They are almost comparable to rumors.
Due to this, the stigma of contracting the virus has been largely promoted. Hence, it is essential to be aware and soon after debunk this inaccurate information about the origin of HIV.
The past few decades have witnessed the rise of various misconceptions, myths, rumors and stigma associated with HIV. It is high time we debunk them as responsible human and create more awareness about facts.
The myths below are responsible for several social problems. We must note that these are not backed by facts, medical reports and data, and hence must be condemned for the restoration of humanity.
Here are some of the myths about the origin of the virus:
- Mosquitoes can spread HIV. False! Only the saliva of the mosquito is passed through the human skin when it bites. No amount of previously ingested blood is involved in this process.
- I can get AIDS just by being around HIV+ people. HIV is not transmissible through touch, tears, sweat, saliva, or urine. You cannot get HIV just by breathing the same air, hugging, kissing, or sharing utensils.
- HIV is a death sentence. In its early years the death rate was uncontrollable because of little information regarding the nature of the virus. Today’s advanced health technology and emerging researches have helped us understand the virus and respond to it better. A large variety of pre- and post-exposure medications are available for those exposed to HIV.
Learning about the virus’ origin is necessary to develop a treatment. As of the moment, there has not been an effective treatment to cure people with AIDS, nor any treatment to completely eliminate HIV. However, the modern medications can effectively help people survive with the disease.