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This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of dan-ruth-tanner.com

There has been a lot of debate between scientists and people with a misplaced sense of ethnic pride for the most part, about the origin of this horrible disease. That is history, and should only be of importance to medical researchers who seek to prevent the rise of new diseases. That is because, AIDS probably had an inter-species origin, and like dreaded Ebola or monkey-pox, may have first arisen in people in Africa who because of drought and/or poverty were forced to eat “bush meat”.

Another inter-species danger: all influenzas. They arise in birds, and only some evolve to attack humans. Today’s “bird flu” is a danger to those with prolonged and close contact with infected birds, usually with chickens or ducks in mostly poor countries. But the last bad “bird flu” in 1919 killed about 50 million people worldwide. It is said to have first transferred from chicken to human in the US Midwest, where a soldier from the farm family then spread it at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

But for those of us who aren’t researchers, the important thing is to prevent the spread of diseases that are already in the general population. The New York Times article shows that the rise of AIDS is not tied to any ethnic group, but rather to the disgusting and perverted practices of male homosexuals. But once a man has the virus, he can easily spread it to women he may have sex with, and women thus infected can thus spread it to other male partners. And, of course, any contact with any bodily fluid from an infected person poses a danger to the healthy.

In a recent article published on nytimes.com – titled: H.I.V Diagnosis Rates Continue to Rise among Young Men, African-Americans – speakers about how H.I.V. and AIDS in men who’re having sex with men rose significantly between 2001 and 2006 while the was a decline in other demographic groups.

The increase in diagnoses was especially high among males between the ages of 13 and 24, with an annual increase of 12.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent for men overall. The annual increase was still higher among young African-American men who have sex with men, nearly 15 percent.

Fortunately, Dominica is not under the sway of the powerful pro-homosexual lobby, as is the US and most of Europe. I will be very happy to move from a place where one must be “politically correct” when speaking about homosexuality, and from where so-called “same-sex marriage” is allowed to Dominica, where I don’t expect such an abomination to ever be tolerated. (At least, I believe, not in my lifetime!) I believe that Dominica will wisely continue to proscribe homosexual acts in law as a way of safeguarding public health.

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6 Comments »

Comment by Joel Halfwassen
2008-06-28 03:01:52

For some reason I thought AIDS originated in Asia, not Africa. I am going to have to look that up. You could be dead on about that. I just have a nagging doubt in the back of my head about that fact.

As for the rest…Another option is that laws could be focused on monogamous relationships regardless of sexual orientation as opposed to limiting the civil rights of a portion of the population.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-06-28 12:03:41

In answer to the first: It is now generally accepted that HIV is a descendant of a Simian Immunodeficiency Virus because certain strains of SIVs bear a very close resemblance to HIV-1 and HIV-2, the two types of HIV.

HIV-2 for example corresponds to SIVsm, a strain of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus found in the sooty mangabey (also known as the White-collared monkey), which is indigenous to western Africa.

The more virulent, pandemic strain of HIV, namely HIV-1, was until recently more difficult to place. Until 1999, the closest counterpart that had been identified was SIVcpz, the SIV found in chimpanzees. However, this virus still had certain significant differences from HIV.
What happened in 1999?

In February 1999 a group of researchers from the University of Alabama1 announced that they had found a type of SIVcpz that was almost identical to HIV-1. This particular strain was identified in a frozen sample taken from a captive member of the sub-group of chimpanzees known as Pan troglodytes troglodytes (P. t. troglodytes), which were once common in west-central Africa.

The researchers (led by Paul Sharp of Nottingham University and Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama) made the discovery during the course of a 10-year long study into the origins of the virus. They claimed that this sample proved that chimpanzees were the source of HIV-1, and that the virus had at some point crossed species from chimps to humans.

Their final findings were published two years later in Nature magazine2. In this article, they concluded that wild chimps had been infected simultaneously with two different simian immunodeficiency viruses which had “viral sex” to form a third virus that could be passed on to other chimps and, more significantly, was capable of infecting humans and causing AIDS.

These two different viruses were traced back to a SIV that infected red-capped mangabeys and one found in greater spot-nosed monkeys. They believe that the hybridisation took place inside chimps that had become infected with both strains of SIV after they hunted and killed the two smaller species of monkey.

They also concluded that all three ‘groups’ of HIV-1 – namely Group M, N and O (see our strains and subtypes page for more information on these) – came from the SIV found in P. t. troglodytes, and that each group represented a separate crossover ‘event’ from chimps to humans.
How could HIV have crossed species?

It has been known for a long time that certain viruses can pass between species. Indeed, the very fact that chimpanzees obtained SIV from two other species of primate shows just how easily this crossover can occur. As animals ourselves, we are just as susceptible. When a viral transfer between animals and humans takes place, it is known as zoonosis.

Below are some of the most common theories about how this ‘zoonosis’ took place, and how SIV became HIV in humans:
The ‘Hunter’ Theory

The most commonly accepted theory is that of the ‘hunter’. In this scenario, SIVcpz was transferred to humans as a result of chimps being killed and eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds on the hunter. Normally the hunter’s body would have fought off SIV, but on a few occasions it adapted itself within its new human host and become HIV-1. The fact that there were several different early strains of HIV, each with a slightly different genetic make-up (the most common of which was HIV-1 group M), would support this theory: every time it passed from a chimpanzee to a man, it would have developed in a slightly different way within his body, and thus produced a slightly different strain.

An article published in The Lancet in 20043, also shows how retroviral transfer from primates to hunters is still occurring even today. In a sample of 1099 individuals in Cameroon , they discovered ten (1%) were infected with SFV (Simian Foamy Virus), an illness which, like SIV, was previously thought only to infect primates. All these infections were believed to have been acquired through the butchering and consumption of monkey and ape meat. Discoveries such as this have led to calls for an outright ban on bushmeat hunting to prevent simian viruses being passed to humans.

In answer to the second: It is behavior (male anal sex) that is most responsible for the spread of AIDS. Many marriages are not faithful, and homosexual unions are notoriously unfaithful. Moreover, if you think the Dominica will accept homosexual behavior or same-sx marriage, you have a lot to learn about Dominica’s culture!

 
Comment by Suki Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-28 13:09:33

To single out the sexual preferences of an individual as a basis for denying them their inalienable rights as human beings is shameful. I’m surprised to see this here in what I have considered to be an enlightened blog. The fact that you support laws that would restrict the rights of a particular group, any group should be cause for reflection. There was a time where marriage between races was considered “disgusting and perverted”. In fact there were many laws against such a practice, now we understand what a limiting view that was. It is not for me to judge what one does in the privacy of their intimate relations rather it is more compassionate to accept people for who they are and work to help all of humanity rid ourselves of this disease. Furthermore to blame any one group for the spread of this disease again is shameful – is it the way they choose to express their love that you object to? If female homosexuality okay? If so, why? Do those individuals not engage in acts that you would consider “disgusting and perverted practices”? Truly, I believe you should take a moment to reflect on your viewpoint and what prejudices you harbor that would have you label a group of individuals in such a way. In the end, we are all human and in this together.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-06-28 13:46:20

The data is the data. Anal sex causes and spreads AIDS. Government has the right to protect its citizens from disease — in fact the citizens should demand that their government do so.

 
Comment by Suki Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-28 14:00:48

I read the article Dan, even the article does not suggest that this study should be the basis of any kind of legal action. The article notes that with regards to the data, “The data were based on reporting from 33 states and did not include statistics from some with large gay and minority populations, including California, Illinois and Georgia.” The article also notes that HIV infection continues to affect the African-American population disproportionately. How and why would the statistics in the United States be used as a basis for legal action in Dominica? The article also notes, ““And the high rates we see among black men and other minorities indicate that it’s very much connected to larger issues like poverty and racism.” To interpret the data and the article to make the point that male homosexuality is the cause of the spread of HIV is a stretch. To apply the findings of the article to the landscape of Dominica would require a leap of faith on the part of the reader – I don’t mean to be presumptuous but I do not believe you would ask us to take this leap of faith.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-06-28 19:24:44

Of course the article doesn’t do that. It appeared in the pro-homosexual NY Times, which is also politically correct. But Dominica fits the “poverty” model. A store with condoms is not always near, and many men can’t afford them. I stand by my words.

 
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