http://www.npr.org/2012/02/27/147491...-aids-epidemicTimberg tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the simian version of HIV — which is called SIV — has been around for thousands of years. It was only when colonial powers migrated across parts of Africa — where the SIV virus existed among the chimps — that the virus started to spread among humans.
"It was only with the introduction of these new transport routes, of these human movements, that HIV popped out of the chimpanzee population and starts an epidemic among the human population and became what we see today," he says.
In the past 100 years, 99 percent of all of the world's deaths from AIDS have come from a strain of the virus called HIV-1 group M, which first appeared in remote parts of Cameroon, where African porters worked a century ago cutting paths across dense brush in places where humans had never before traveled.
"The best theory is that a human caught a chimp, was butchering a chimp — which is a very bloody business — and in the process of that cut his hand, and the virus mutated as it went into the human bloodstream," says Timberg. "... [There was] human movement in areas where humans didn't live in great density before colonialism arrived — you had the arrival of the rubber trade and the ivory trade, and suddenly you had to go into these very deep parts of the forest that were not hospitable to humans before and since."
From Cameroon, strains of HIV migrated down into other parts of central Africa and then into Leopoldville, which is now called Kinshasa. Leopoldville was a Belgian territory and by 1920 had become the capital of the Belgian Congo — complete with factories, shipyards, railways and single-*** dormitories for the workers, who were thrust into urban living conditions.
"You had the kind of human movement that could really get an epidemic moving," says Timberg.
In 1960, the Belgians gave up Congo, which then became an independent country again. At that point, 1,000 to 2,000 people likely had HIV, says Timberg.
The unknowingly infected inhabitants of Kinshasa mingled with U.N. aid workers who were flown over from Haiti to work as physicians and civil servants. It is almost certainly the case, says Timberg, that one of the Haitian aid workers caught HIV in Leopoldville and then flew back to Haiti.
"From Haiti, it brews up for a few years and then it makes its way into the United States, and from the United States it comes back and infects Europe through airline traffic," he says. "So every HIV virus in the United States or Europe or the Caribbean can be traced to a single ancestor, a single virus that came over from Kinshasa in the 1960s."
There is quite a bit of speculation in order to hold up this idea.
It's one of the theories. Another one states that it happened when the polio vaccine was introduced in Africa. Some speculate that they used chimp liver cells to grow the vaccine and that's how it happened. Who really knows the truth. BTW chimps have been killed in Africa for a very long time, shouldn't this transmission of the virus have happened before?
Does Belgium still sell those little dark chocolate hands in the chocolate shops? Or has PC raped that to death?
Belgium does have a bit to answer for with its Colonial methods of increasing rubber production, but I dont think we can credit it as being the cause of AIDs.
Personally I blame the Slave trade for the export of AIDs. This would have brought the disease to the middle east, and as the middle east was a large trade hub, and still is, the disease would have been quite readily available to be contracted by traders using brothels etc and transported back to their home regions.
If the above story is correct the disease would have had difficulty reaching places like Russia - which has a fairly large problem with HIV/AIDs, as the cold war would have restricted the spread of the disease.
More likely story is an African butchered a chimp at one point in the history of man, and contracted the disease. Through travel, *** and random blood letting other Africans in other areas contracted the virus and it spread through Africa unknown to the local pop. When slavers came around, the slavers exported the disease to other regions of the world by transporting HIV/Aids carriers and the occasional bit of *** or hack and slash with virus carriers, and then returning to their home ports where they would quite likely have continued to spread the virus through the brothels etc, and other brothel users would have picked it up and taken it home as an un-wanted present for the missus.
This is probably why AIDs is most prevolent in Africa, but started making an impact in the West in the last couple of hundred years, as colonial exploration in Africa took off. I am sure it contributed to the spread of AIDs in Europe, but its not responsible for the disease, thats just silliness.
Some molecular datation studies suggest that HIV-1 group M had its most recent common ancestor (MRCA) (that is, started to spread in the human population) in the early 20th century, probably between 1915 and 1941. A study published in 2008, analyzing viral sequences recovered from a recently-discovered biopsy made in Kinshasa, in 1960, along with previously-known sequences, suggested a common ancestor between 1873 and 1933 (with central estimates varying between 1902 and 1921).
Der erste entdeckte AIDS-Erreger ist ein HI-Virus 1 vom Subtyp B aus der Hauptgruppe M. Dieses Virus tauchte erstmals um 1930 in Zentralafrika auf. Ein internationales Forscherteam kommt nach Gen-Analysen zahlreicher HIV-Subtypen aus aller Welt zu dem Schluss dass dieses Virus um das Jahr 1966 herum von Afrika nach Haiti gelangte. Die Untersuchungen belegen ferner, dass sich das Virus mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit zunächst innerhalb von Haiti und dann von dort über die ganze Welt ausbreitete. So erreichte es von Haiti aus 1969 die USA. Zu diesem Schlussgelangten Forscher um Michael Worobey an der Universität Arizona nach der eingehenden Analyse von Virusproben der ersten bekannten AIDS-Patienten aus Haiti. In den USA habe sich das Virus zunächst sehr langsam in der heterosexuellen Bevölkerung ausgebreitet, bevor es sich dann wenig später innerhalb der Hochrisiko-Gruppe homosexueller Männer stärker verbreitete.
(Translation: Virus first discovered in 1930 in Centralafrica, moving to Haiti at around 1966 and to the USA in 1969.)
You have also to separate the fact that the virus crosses the species barrier and the fact that its transmission goes epidemic
A few new variants are appearing from time to time (see HIV group P for example) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtypes_of_HIV
That doesn't mean they gonna spread. It is only a signature that a SIV virus has crossed once again the species barrier and given a new HIV variant.
But to have an epidemic spreading you need several features you didn't had before massive exploitation of the african area for timber and minerals : roads, transportation hubs, increase in population density and prostitution (in case of ******ly transmitted pathogens)
Maybe some hunter gatherer were ill with HIV before but in remote villages where you can die of anything else quicker that a disease declaring after 10 years, that has gone probably unnoticed.
Now with means to spread as an epidemy the story is different
it should be mentioned that the chocolate hands are sold in Antwerp because a cut-off hand makes up part of the city's coat-of-arms
Why a cut off hand?
Legend has it that a large giant who went by the name of Druon Antigon demanded hefty tolls from sailors who were cruising the Scheldt River. If a passing boatman was unable to pay the toll, the giant would cut of one of his hands and throw it in the river. Having had enough of this, a Roman warrior took it upon himself to slay Antigon. Silvius Brabo was the Roman warrior’s name, and not only did he slay the giant, but he also gave him a dose of his own medicine, tossing one of his hands into the river. The Flemish words “hand werpen” translates to “throwing the hand,” which explains the theory of the city’s name. Antwerp’s appreciation of this rather gruesome legend is certainly noticeable, and if you dip inside the tourist shops here, you’ll find cookies and chocolates for sale that are in the shape of a hand.
As 'un PC' as it is to someone who is familiar with the history of Leopold II's cruel exploitation in the Congo, it will always be the symbol of the city of Antwerp and should be as it predates the practices in the Congo by many, many years.
As for the Belgian colonialism, Congo at the time was NO BELGIAN COLONY, the only thing we had in common was that we had the same king, Belgium and Congo were two independent countries at the time of the attrocities, with the same king, the Belgian Parliament and Belgian people had no control over Congo.
Thanks for the informative post. Let the wondering end - a global health crisis is highly costly to address, treat and guard against for the future. The spread of epidemics through airports is a particular concern. A recently introduced MIT study suggests which U.S. airports would be most highly susceptible to the costly spread of pathogens. Save yourself grief and cash - and perhaps hole yourself up in a bunker and stay away from all travel - after reading this tale of epidemic and economic woe. Get details from the internet site
I visited a forum where practically the entire cabal of well off Communists posting there despised the Belgians because of the leftist myths concerning the Congo. One guy presented a question as to why the Congo was still a dump to this day and all of the brainwashed had the same answer: the Belgians.