One of the World's Deadliest Pandemics
The History of HIV
Scientists speculate that HIV was first contracted by humans around the year 1908. Although eventually the virus was eventually contracted by humans, scientists believe it originally developed among chimpanzees. HIV is a hybrid between two different monkey viruses of SIV. The SIV viruses crossed between each other after both types of monkeys were consumed by the Chimpanzees.
The virus first spread to humans in a part of Cameroon, where humans hunt the chimps for food. Scientists believe that as a human was butchering a chimp, they accidentally cut themselves. This in turn caused an open wound, which lead to contact between the human blood and the chimp blood. After this man contracted the disease, he probably passed it on to a woman in his village. The woman then passed it on to a fisherman. Eventually the disease had spread to an urban community by the 1920s.
By the 1950s, the first case of HIV has been recorded in North America. Scientists believe that Gaeton Dugas is to blame for the mass spread of the virus in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. This man is estimated to have transmitted the disease to thousands of men. By the mid 1980s, many individuals are found to be positive with the virus in whole communities.