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Prior to July, 1995 Zetatalk stated that the Origin of AIDS, while deliberately Perpetrated, was through the ingestion of infected blood due to dietary customs in Africa, not immunization. On February 5, 1999, headline news announced that the origin of HIV was from chimps hunted for food.

Science Friday, Origin of HIV, February 5, 1999

Scientists announced this week that they may have finally traced HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS in humans, back to another species of primate - a subspecies of chimpanzee. While researchers have long suspected that some African primate was the source of the virus, this is the first time that they've been able to narrow it down to a specific species. The scientists, based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, compared several different strains of a related virus, known as SIV (for Simian Immunodeficiency Virus), and found that the strains most closely related to HIV all came from one type of chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes troglodytes. They also found that this chimp's natural habitat overlaps the area in Africa where HIV was first detected in humans.

The variety of chimpanzee that the scientists have identified as the source is hunted for food in this region. The researchers speculate that the first transmission to humans could have come through infected blood which was passed between species while humans were hunting or dressing the chimps. On this segment of Science Friday, we'll talk about the finding and what it means, both for AIDS researchers and for people trying to protect the endangered African chimpanzee population.

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