Oct 5, 2007

HIV and STD's in monkeys...

I’m not sure if many of you are aware that the ‘Human Immunodeficiency Virus’ (HIV) was introduced to humans by a subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa. Those humans were likely hunters. It’s either they ate the primate or they were exposed to the infected blood while trophy hunting. Those rumors of a man having sex with an infected primate is utter rubbish!

I think you know where I’m heading here…If humans didn’t hunt, the human race would be free from HIV. Without say, HIV infection in humans is now pandemic. There isn’t a country on this earth that has not had a HIV infection. That’s how bad the situation is. HIV is a retrovirus that can lead to ‘Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome’ (AIDS). It is estimated that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on December 1, 1981. Current estimates show that HIV is set to infect 90 million people in Africa alone. 90 million! That’s madness!!

Besides HIV, let’s look at other sexually transmitted diseases that our primates are suffering from…
Herpes – found in macaques
Hepatitis A & E – found in chimpanzees
SIV (related to HIV) - found in macaques
Gonorrhea – found in Baboons

Some other diseases and viruses…
Wild measles – found in squirrel monkeys.
Ebola – fruit bats are believed to be the living reservoir of this virus.
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) - found in cattle, pigs, sheep, goat, and deers.
Cancer – All kinds of animals
Chlamydia psittaci – found in some species of birds
Hantavirus – some species of mice

There’s no debate that we share a lot in common with primates such as the chimpanzee. DNA comparison between chimps and humans show that chimpanzees differ from humans by just 1% of the DNA sequences. Meaning, we can take a blood transfusion from a chimpanzee The question is…Would you?

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