If HIV Was In Monkeys For Years, Why Didn’t We Get It?

CampbellMonkeyNeil Katz poses the question for CBS News:

The precursor to H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, may be older than you think. Way older.

According to new research, simian immunodeficiency virus (S.I.V.) has been in monkeys for millennia, potentially putting humans at risk for the last 32,000 years and possibly much longer.

And yet, for all that time, humans didn’t get sick in mass. Only in the 20th century did H.I.V. become a global scourge that has claimed 25 million lives.

Why?

According to the New York Times, for as long as monkeys have had S.I.V., humans who have butchered them have put themselves at risk of infection from a mutated form. But because the infected people in Africa were fairly isolated, the chances for an epidemic were small. That changed, some theorize, with the explosive growth of African cities and wide spread use of cheap syringes.

But the reality is, no one really knows for sure.

The new research does help explain why monkeys who have S.I.V. do not get sick from it – they have had tens of thousands of years to adapt.

In order to track S.I.V. back in time, researchers led by the University of Arizona and the Tucson and Tulane National Primate Research Center looked at the DNA of 79 monkeys from Bioko, a volcanic island off the coast of West Africa.

According to the New York Times, the island was cut off from the mainland 10,000 years ago and six species of monkeys have developed exclusively there. Four of them had S.I.V. That meant the virus was at least 10,000 years old. Scientists then measured how fast the virus mutates and calculated its age at between 32,000 and 78,000 years, the Times reports…

[continues at CBS News]

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  • Anonymous

    “Why Didn’t We Get It?”

    Probably because most people don’t have sex with monkeys……….

    “Hot Monkey Love” is only a silly expression…….LOL

  • GoodDoktorBad

    “Why Didn’t We Get It?”

    Probably because most people don’t have sex with monkeys……….

    “Hot Monkey Love” is only a silly expression…….LOL

  • Ironaddict06

    So, according to this articles theory Africans got SIV which became HIV by eating monkeys(meaning their body fluids). So, with this theory monkeys could have spread SIV to Africans, if Africans were having sex with monkeys also. Ok, how did the first gay men get HIV in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s? How does a virus(HIV) cause an immune disorder(AIDS)? Why does only a small % of people with HIV, get AIDS? How does HIV remain undectable for many years, suddenly show up, and become AIDS if some people?

  • Ironaddict06

    So, according to this articles theory Africans got SIV which became HIV by eating monkeys(meaning their body fluids). So, with this theory monkeys could have spread SIV to Africans, if Africans were having sex with monkeys also. Ok, how did the first gay men get HIV in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s? How does a virus(HIV) cause an immune disorder(AIDS)? Why does only a small % of people with HIV, get AIDS? How does HIV remain undectable for many years, suddenly show up, and become AIDS if some people?

    • A Bad Joke

      Because you’re an idiot. How does a virus cause something? How does a virus NOT cause something?

      • FergalR

        Christ, relax with the caps there Tex.

        He was asking legitimate questions.

        If you’re not qualified to answer just stay quiet.

    • Belcat

      You don’t need to have sex to catch HIV. In theory if some HIV were to go in your mouth (ie, improperly cooked monkey meat, or even raw), then you could catch it. (I’ve been taught numerous times through sex ed. that oral sex isn’t 100% safe for the person sucking).

  • A Bad Joke

    Because you’re an idiot. How does a virus cause something? How does a virus NOT cause something?

  • Ironaddict06

    Please, show me the research that shows how a virus causes a genetic disorder. I cant find the studies.

  • Ironaddict06

    Please, show me the research that shows how a virus causes a genetic disorder. I cant find the studies.

    • Word Eater

      Aren’t viruses just genetic code with some proteins wrapped around it? It can create a genetic disorder by chancing your DNA and forcing your cells to replicate it.

  • Anonymous

    Christ, relax with the caps there Tex.

    He was asking legitimate questions.

    If you’re not qualified to answer just stay quiet.

  • Word Eater

    Aren’t viruses just genetic code with some proteins wrapped around it? It can create a genetic disorder by chancing your DNA and forcing your cells to replicate it.

  • Belcat

    You don’t need to have sex to catch HIV. In theory if some HIV were to go in your mouth (ie, improperly cooked monkey meat, or even raw), then you could catch it. (I’ve been taught numerous times through sex ed. that oral sex isn’t 100% safe for the person sucking).

  • gemmarama

    cos there were no cities in africa over the past 32,000 years?! somebody needs a history lesson. addis ababa, great zimbabwe, etc…

    soz missed this one when it was first posted.

  • gemmarama

    cos there were no cities in africa over the past 32,000 years?! somebody needs a history lesson. addis ababa, great zimbabwe, etc…

    soz missed this one when it was first posted.

  • http://www.trippingmom.com Marilia

    I watched a movie with a nice theory: “Los origenes del SIDA”. I don´t know the title in English, but something like “The Origins of AIDS”. Check it out.

  • http://www.trippingmom.com Marilia

    I watched a movie with a nice theory: “Los origenes del SIDA”. I don´t know the title in English, but something like “The Origins of AIDS”. Check it out.

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