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.

HIV's Global Impact on Society

HIV is estimated to have killed over 60 million people worldwide by the end of the decade. Obviously the HIV virus is a global issue. One major reason that the disease has effected so many people, is the neglect of the importance of HIV in many communities. Many people fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent the continued transmission of the disease. The awareness is so little that it is estimated 3/4 of the population is HIV positive in some urban communities, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Treatment of HIV

Researchers have developed several treatments for HIV infection and AIDS. But, they have yet to find a cure. The studying of HIV has given scientists the knowledge of how the virus effects the blood. Scientists have developed many different inhibitors to prevent the progression of the virus in people positive with HIV. These inhibitors work by stopping the reproduction of the enzyme reverse transcriptase. Many patients that are found to be positive with HIV also take antibiotics, because the virus causes a weaker immune system.