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View Full Version : HIV origin 'found in wild chimps'



Spiral
May 26th, 2006, 12:02 PM
The origin of HIV has been found in wild chimpanzees living in southern Cameroon, researchers report.
A virus called SIVcpz (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus from chimps) was thought to be the source, but had only been found in a few captive animals.
Now, an international team of scientists has identified a natural reservoir of SIVcpz in animals living in the wild.
The findings are to be published in Science magazine.
It is thought that people hunting chimpanzees first contracted the virus - and that cases were first seen in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo - the nearest urban area - in 1930.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5012268.stm


More primate research no doubt.

DianeVegan
May 27th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Very interesting that it's been traced back 75 years. The last time I did any real research into it's origins HIV had only been traced back to the 1960's.

About the primate research. It's ironic that we hunted them once and caught a horrible disease. Now we'll hunt them to what? - find a cure for that same disease? I think there is enough research out there on how viruses mutate without us using any more of these chimps.

Wildflower
May 30th, 2006, 07:40 PM
I heard this article on National Public Radio and they said they were able to trace this through DNA testing and virus testing of the chimps feces - found out in the jungle. They said finding the actual chimps would be impossible.

So, I am sure there is and will be animal testing for this project, but from what I heard one of the scientists speak of, it was done really with no contact with the chimps at all - at least this part. :confused:

Roxy
May 30th, 2006, 07:47 PM
There won't be any chimps, gorillas or other primates left soon, if humans keep hunting them and destroying their habitat. :(

You know, I'm not trying to be gross or anything - this is a serious comment. But I heard some years ago, that one of the ways in which HIV was transferred from chimps to humans is through sexual relations. Could this be true?

Wildflower
May 30th, 2006, 08:27 PM
I have heard that too...

I have no doubt someone in the world has done that...but I am sure there are other ways such as being bitten or just handling dead carcass with an open cut or something...

:confused:

Gliondrach
May 30th, 2006, 11:12 PM
Lots of diseases are becoming more widespread due in large part to human greed and stupidity. Ebola and other haemorrhagic fevers are probably spread to humans by human trespass into wild areas where no humans have been before in large numbers. This happens as humans extend their farms into virgin forest. Also, hunting wild animals will put the hunters at risk of catching diseases not usually seen in humans. Transport of food animals from country to country will also allow diseases to spread. Human interference with Nature is another cause - such as mad cow disease and bird flu.
Humans have brought these epidemics on themselves. But the other animals suffer, too. Ebola is spreading amongst great apes in Africa, probably caused by infected humans entering the diminishing forests. As the forests are cut down there are fewer areas for the apes to go to escape human contact.

jah1971
May 30th, 2006, 11:38 PM
!

VeganJohn
May 31st, 2006, 01:02 AM
Re. animal testing and HIV, there are a large number of large research studies involving humans, such as the HIV vaccine studies and clinical trials. Of course, these clinical trials probably only emerge after a considerable amount of testing is completed on human 'analogues' (e.g. animals). What's as disturbing to me as animal testing is the testing that is done on human 'volunteers' for whom use of an untested drug with unknown long-term consequences is their only access to any treatment options.

This is a pretty difficult topic that's filled with all sorts of ethical dilemnas and conditional rights and wrongs. As a vegan, I'm opposed to almost all animal testing. Of these, cosmetics testing is perhaps the most onerous and vile practice, in my opinion. I do, however, see value in some testing under pretty specific conditions. Particularly if the intent is to end suffering for a large population.

In the context of overpopulation, should we really be so concerned about saving human lives? I believe we should be, but I also believe that humans should be much more focused on planned parenthood, and leaving little or no footprint on the earth. I think the vegan lifestyle is a start, but doesn't excuse us from further necessary work.



As a vegan you are opposed to 'almost' all animal tesing? :confused: What animal testing do you see value in?

Sorry if I seem a little abrupt, but surely vegans must not condone any animal testing that causes harm or suffering to healthy animals?

With regard to HIV and animal studies - as non-human animals do not get AIDS, animal researchers have induced diseases which mimic AIDS in animals. The diseases that the animals experience differ from AIDS in humans so any research findings cannot be reliably transferred to humans.

eve
May 31st, 2006, 10:08 AM
I agree with you VeganJohn, in fact it is well known that researchers induced AIDS type 2 into primates for many years. It is surmised that when there were campaigns against polio in African countries, they 'accidentally' infected these people.

Similarly in the US, there was an offer to give Hep B protection to a cohort of gay, whites, in the age group 25 - 35. All those people died of what turned out to be AIDS type 1. Before dying, they had unwittingly passed it on to partners. What those scientists who callously carried out this experiment didn't realise, was that many of these gay young men were blood donors. Rather like the US friendly fire!

madpogue
May 31st, 2006, 11:30 PM
What those scientists who callously carried out this experiment didn't realise... Even that is giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Wildflower
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:10 AM
Similarly in the US, there was an offer to give Hep B protection to a cohort of gay, whites, in the age group 25 - 35. All those people died of what turned out to be AIDS type 1. Before dying, they had unwittingly passed it on to partners. What those scientists who callously carried out this experiment didn't realise, was that many of these gay young men were blood donors. Rather like the US friendly fire!

When was this?

I was given a Hep B vaccine in the early 90's - when they first came out. :confused: It was the last vaccine I will receive. They are now recommended to be given to children at birth.

Also, gay men cannot donate blood here, but I am not sure if it was always that way. :( They even disqualify women who have slept with a man who has slept with another man...it is a standard question they ask, so you could lie if you want...it is an on your honor thing...

I do know they test a lot of drugs on people against their will...it makes me so angry there are people in the world like that. :mad:

VeganJohn
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:25 AM
I have been advised to get a hep B vaccine for some time now due to my current voluntary work at a drug rehab centre. I have put it off for ages as I am worried it might not be vegan :confused:

Wildflower
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:32 AM
An old friend of mine contracted it working in a hopsital as a surgical tech. :confused:

It is probably not vegan, and I am not sure how well it protects, but I do know Hep B can be very serious and/or deadly. My friend was lucky as she is only a "carrier" and has not had any symptoms. She had 2 children who were vaccinated at birth and couldn't be breastfed, but neither contracted it luckily.

May be worth you doing some research. I was young (14) and thought it sounded good at the time...:rolleyes:

VeganJohn
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:37 AM
At this place I am working at, I attended a lecture on blood borne diseases aimed at the drug users who used needles etc. Apparently there is no vaccine for hep C and treatment vary in their success. With hep B however, apparently the vaccine is effective, as are the cures if one contracts it.

Problems arise when people catch more than one strain I think, this is much harder to effectively treat.

eve
Jun 1st, 2006, 09:46 AM
When was this? I was given a Hep B vaccine in the early 90's - when they first came out. :confused: It was the last vaccine I will receive. They are now recommended to be given to children at birth.

Also, gay men cannot donate blood here, but I am not sure if it was always that way. ... I do know they test a lot of drugs on people against their will...it makes me so angry there are people in the world like that. :mad:
That special cohort of gay guys who were given the HepB 'protection' occurred in the late 1970s. Of course it was not a protection of HepB at all, just doing a clinical drug trial on them. So don't worry about your HepB shot in the 90s. Can't understand why they'd give that vaccination to children at birth though! When I was working at an hiv clinic in Sydney, all the workers had hepB shots, and when I asked if it is necessary for me, the response from the doc was that if I was not sharing needles or having sex, then no problems. So I didn't get a shot!

Gay men certainly did give blood like many conscientious citizens, but times have changed and it is probably different now. As for testing drugs on people against their will - that used to be common in the US, and in what used to be called 3rd World countries, but hopefully the medicos now need permission of their patients to receive.

DianeVegan
Jun 1st, 2006, 02:30 PM
Eve, I don't know what clinical drug trial was being conducted on gay men in the 1970's but would be very interested in finding out. I do know that the 1970's was the decade in which the Hepatitis B vaccine was developed and doctors/nurses/gay men/ IV drug users were all offered the vaccine as these were the groups most at risk.

I was required to get vaccinated for Hepatitis B before entering nursing school in the 80's. Hepatitis B can be deadly but not nearly as bad as Hepatitis C. If a vaccine is developed for Hepatitis C then you can rest assured everyone will be required to get it in the U.S. Hepatitis C is MUCH easier to pass on compared to HIV or Hep B. The problem with Hep C is that it leads to liver failure more often than Hep B (many people on the liver recipient list are Hep C+). We worry a lot about Hep C in the hospital because the chances of getting it from a splash of fluid in the eye or a needle stick is much higher than HIV. I have a few coworkers who are infected from patients, their only "risky" behaviour being work.

There is a silent epidemic of U.S. citizens with Hep C who many times present with gastrointestinal problems in their 40's, having contracted the disease from a multitude of different sources years earlier. Please keep in mind that you can contract Hep C from sharing toothebrushes, razors and other personal care items that have the possibility of coming in contact with a tiny amount of blood. It is easier to get Hep C from unprotected sex than HIV. And for all you women who get manicures and pedicures - PLEASE invest in your own scissors/files/clippers to bring with you. You can get Hep C from improperly cleaned nail instruments in spas and salons.

eve
Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:19 AM
Thank you for that info re pedicures, as I go regularly and hadn't thought of taking my own scissors or files. Yes, HepC is very common, and is well considered a silent epidemic.

As to the clinical drug trial in the 70s in the US on gay men, it's a long time since I had all that information, but I will make enquiries to see if it is possible to resurrect the info.

eve
Jun 2nd, 2006, 06:06 AM
In today's UK Guardian, there's a report that the Bush administration, heavily influence by the Christian right, is blocking key proposals for a new United Nations package to combat Aids worldwide over the next five years because of its opposition to the distribution of condoms and needle exchanges and references to prostitutes, drug addicts and homosexuals.
The US is being supported by many Muslim countries, including Egypt, and various conservative African and Latin American nations. "There are a lot of unholy alliances all over the place," said a European official attending UN talks in New York last night.

article in full at http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,,1788649,00.html

ravenfire
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:57 PM
Also, gay men cannot donate blood here, but I am not sure if it was always that way. :( They even disqualify women who have slept with a man who has slept with another man...it is a standard question they ask, so you could lie if you want...it is an on your honor thing...

I just read recently that due to the Red Cross not getting enough donations they're considering doing away with their homophobic policy. I think this would be very wise of them since I know a lot of straight people who refuse to give blood until they change this policy. I can't believe that an organization like this would still believe that gay men are their main HIV/AIDS risk. How many straight people have it now and how many don't even know it?!?!

DianeVegan
Jun 7th, 2006, 02:28 AM
Very good point, Ravenfire. I'm sure many homosexual people have donated blood over the past 10 years. And I'm sure there have been some people who donated that falsely answered other questions as well. It is rather ridiculous at this point in time.