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Where Did AIDS Come From?

Although there are many stories/guesses of how and from where the disease originated? HIV virus is strongly believed to be originated from Africa around 1940. According to stored records, the first known patient of AIDS disease was from one of the states of Africa in 1959 whose blood was stored in order to find out the possible cause of his death. In tests carried out, the blood is confirmed to contain AIDS virus.

It is believed that the HIV virus inherits its properties from a virus SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus), which is found in monkeys. The AIDS virus also has developed its own characteristics along with those which it inherits from SIV. The SIV virus has exactly same genetic structure as that of HIV and both the viruses are transmitted same way from one host to another. The SIV virus causes AIDS in monkeys and has exactly same effects on them but it does not show any such effect on humans, whereas HIV causes AIDS in humans but not in monkeys. There are again many interesting stories/guesses/hypothesis as how the HIV virus born from the SIV virus? And how SIV virus got mixed in the human blood?

The AIDS virus was first discovered around year 1980 in the United States. A group of young gay men and also some drug users; were getting ill often, and there was no trace of the disease that they were suffering from. Most of the diseases they were falling prey of were related to the immune system. As it was not known that how much time the disease takes to surface? And how the disease spreads? The virus of AIDS found new home for itself from one man to another in the same group and also those who came in sexual contact or used the same syringe which was used by infected person. After some months, people from the group began to die, the diseases which killed all those people, were some of the common diseases which affects human at much extent if they have a damaged immune system. The T cells, also known as CD4 cells which help human body in fighting with the diseases were found damaged and there level was lowered in the patients suffering from the mysterious disease. It was outbreak of the new disease and it was identified and named AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in 1981. Doctors started research in order to find out the possible causes of the disease. First, it was not known whether AIDS was caused by viral infection or something else until two doctors Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo found the virus causing AIDS. The virus was named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Further in 1985, a blood test was formulated which helped in identifying if a person was carrying HIV. Since 1985, this blood test is used effectively for diagnosing HIV infection. Some more tests were also found to help in diagnosing the virus and the disease using the saliva and urine.

During first few years of the detection of the new disease AIDS, all the possible reasons of spread of the disease were unknown. This helped the disease spread from one infected person to another. Back in the decade of 60's, there were very rare chances of a disease spreading across continents or countries. It was possible only when one person traveled from one country to another and carried the disease knowingly or unknowingly. The spread of AIDS is also said to be related with the same situation. It is said that when flight attendants used to fly across the seas, they had many sex partners in almost all the countries they visited. This helped AIDS spread from Africa and allowed it to enter in America.

After few years, all the possible reasons which helps AIDS virus to spread from one person to another were revealed, such as blood transfusion from an infected person to a healthy person, sexual intercourse between infected person and a healthy person, use of syringe etc. Right from the time of outbreak of the virus, it has infected over 50 million people and killed about half of the same till today (The number of people infected and killed due to AIDS might change, as there is a huge difference in official and unofficial data). But the right cure for the virus has not yet been discovered.


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