The HIV virus It was discovered in the 80s when the AIDS epidemic spread. The pathogen is said to be transmitted from animal to human much earlier than previously assumed. At least Canadian microbiologist Jacques Pépin claims this. In his new book, “The Origins of AIDS”, he traces the origin of the virus to HIV.
Origin of HIV: Was this the first time a soldier was infected?
Despite all studies, there is little information about the origin of HIV. Previously, it was believed that the virus was first transmitted to a predator from a monkey in Africa. However, Canadian microbiologist Jacques Pépin has read the Medical Archives in Africa, which dates from the First World War. Based on the data collected, the researcher assumes that the first transmission from a monkey to a soldier occurred. During World War I, many French soldiers in Central and South Africa were left without food. The hungry soldiers therefore ate the monkeys and other small animals. Microbiologists believe that the consumption of monkey meat causes a virus infection. This means that the HIV epidemic began much earlier than before and the virus spread among African and European populations in early 1918.
Other questions about the origin of HIV remain unanswered.
Scientists have already established that many species of monkeys in West Africa are now victims of deadly disease. Interestingly, only a few monkeys are infected with the HIV virus. In others, the virus has transformed into a non-lethal variant. Unlike other viruses, which mutate very rapidly, the HIV virus took thousands of years to develop into a non-lethal form.
If pathogens behave similarly in humans, there is no imminent mutation in vision that would make the virus harmless.
It is unclear why the virus only spread for so long among the monkey population in Africa and then was transmitted in humans only 100 years ago.