5 Possible Origins of HIV or AIDS
The origin of HIV or AIDS remains as an unresolved mystery and is a controversial topic among the science community. Each of the possible theories of HIV origin has its own supportive facts and contrary either. Therefore, we have summarized the 5 possible origins of HIV to you, and henceforth, we wish to empower the awareness of HIV.
Before we explore to the possible origins of AIDS, it’s better to get familiar with some of the AIDS- related terminology for further understanding:
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that causes transmission of AIDS and it damages the body’s immune system, and so the body becomes susceptible to illness and infection. In a nutshell, our body immune system literally could do nothing against HIV.
SIV (Simian immunodeficiency viruses) also known as Monkey AIDS, which is commonly found among the primate. Furthermore, researchers have hypothesized that SIV actually led to the transmission of HIV in humans. It is now generally accepted that HIV is the descendent of SIV.
2 types of HIV virus:
HIV-1 virus is a more virulent type that is more easily transmitted and is the cause of the vast majority of HIV infections globally.
HIV-2 is less transmittable and is largely confined to West Africa.
The Devilish Conspiracy Theory
AIDS was originated from the White House??!! Indeed, some people alleged that AIDS is a biological weapon invented as a means of genocide against black race by the U.S government. Another group of people even believe that HIV was purposed for bio-warfare and population control.
This theory further supported by another accusation: Jakob Segal, a former biology professor, claimed that HIV was engineered at a U.S. military laboratory at Fort Detrick, by splicing together two other viruses, Visna and HTLV-1. In addition, this virus was tested on prison inmates who had volunteered for the experiment in exchange for early release, and it was through these prisoners that the virus was spread to the population at large.
However, it has no solid evidence to prove this theory, and it merely remains as an inference.
The ‘Cut Hunter’ Theory
The ‘Cut Hunter’ theory is the most common inference of origin of AIDS. Many scientists believe that this SIV was transferred to the human as a result of chimps being killed and eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds on the hunter. Most of the time, the immune system of the hunter would fight off the SIV virus, but occasionally the virus just adapts itself inside the new host and evolves into HIV.
The ‘Needle’ Theory
Basically, ‘the needle is the child of the hunter’. What actually happened was, due to the limitation of resources, African healthcare professionals were using one single syringe to inject multiple patients for most of the medication treatment. Furthermore, this was done without any sterilization in between. Indirectly, this could have led to the intense widespread of HIV virus from the infected ‘Hunters’ to others.
The Colonialism Theory
Can you imagine what will happen if foreigners come to your country and conquer your lovely home? Needless to say, the good things would never happen and bad things for sure. Purpose of colonialism is to maximize the interest of the colony by the most efficient means. In order to fulfill this, they need to reduce the expense cost as minimum as possible and fully utilise the available resources-physical workforce. Sadly to say, the only people who suffer are the indigenes.
The same things happened at Africa during the late 19th and early 20th century. Many places at Africa were ruled by colonial force and the colonial rule was particularly harsh. Countless of African were forced into labour camps where sanitation was poor, food was scarce and physical demands were extreme.
As the result of this, the immune system of the indigene against HIV virus was weakened, and perhaps infected chimpanzee with SIV would have made a welcome extra source of food for the workers. Meantime, many of the camps actively employed prostitutes to keep the workers happy, creating numerous possibilities for onward transmission. One more fact to support the theory is that the labour camps were set up around the time that HIV was first believed to have passed into humans – the early part of the 20th century.
The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) Theory
What is Polio?
Polio or Poliomyelitis is a viral disease that can affect nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis. Basically, the virus spreads by direct person-to-person contact, by contact with infected mucus or phlegm from the nose or mouth, or by contact with infected feces. The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms of disease ranges from 5 – 35 days (average 7 – 14 days).
During 1949, there were 26,039 reported cases and is the worst Polio case in record. In order to overcome this epidemic, Polio vaccine was invented during 1955, and succeeds to control the disease effectively. Millions of lives are saved.
In spite of that, the Polio vaccine is alleged to have been contaminated by SIV virus. This is mainly due to the vaccine has been grown from the cell of monkey kidney, and those monkeys are believed SIV infected. Further fact to support the theory is that, the Polio vaccine could not be screened for SIV virus with the level of technology at that time if it was really infected.