• Question: Was AIDS a man made disease? If so, who made it?

    Asked by to Bethany, Hannah, Keith, Peter, Ramya on 26 Jun 2014. This question was also asked by .
    • Photo: Bethany Dearlove

      Bethany Dearlove answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      No, AIDS – the end-term form of HIV infection – is thought to have come from a similar virus in primates called simean immunodeficiency virus (SIV). There are two main strains of HIV; HIV-1 is the most dominant strain in humans and appears to be from a SIV in chimpanzees (SIVcpz), and HIV-2 comes from the SIV strain in sooty mangabeys (SIVsmm).

    • Photo: Peter Elliott

      Peter Elliott answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      Bethany has identified the two types that humans suffer from and the animals in which they came. However, within HIV-1 there are different categories and it is the M group that is responsible for the global spread of HIV among the majority of humans.

      It is likely that AIDS developed in humans because hunters in Africa ate contaminated meat and the virus was able to spread into us.