Abstract # 83:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 09:00 AM-10:00 AM: Session 10 (Magnolia) Featured Speaker


AFRICAN ORIGINS OF EPIDEMIC HIVS – ANCIENT SIMIAN SOURCES YIELD NEW HUMAN AIDS VIRUSES

P. A. Marx
Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA
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     The sudden appearance of AIDS in the second half of the 20th century led to a search for the cause and source of this fatal disease. AIDS is caused by two viruses, HIV-1 and HIV-2. AIDS and other new epidemics have taught lessons to expect more emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. In addition to AIDS some new 20th century epidemics are Lyme Disease, SARS, Influenza, Ebola and sin nombre virus pulmonary disease. Field virologists led successful searches that found the disease agents in deer in Connecticut, civets in Guangdong, China, pigs in Mexico, chimps in Africa and field mice in four corners of the USA, respectively. The field studies were successful; however understanding why new infectious agents emerge remains a challenge for the 21st century. Field virologists led the search for the origins of the two HIV/AIDS viruses. Dr. Marx will present his travels from West Africa to find the source of HIV-2 to the African island of Bioko to search for an evolutionary clock for HIV. He will discuss the 4 widely held theories of how AIDS began, 1) a CIA plot, 2) population upheavals in Africa, 3) polio vaccination campaigns, and 4) reused needles and blood transfusions in post-colonial Africa. Dr. Marx will describe his travels that led him to propose number four as the cause of the AIDS pandemic.