Intended for healthcare professionals

Book Book

The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 27 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1481
  1. Sebastian Lucas, professor, department of histopathology
  1. Guy's, King's, and St Thomas's School of Medicine, London

    Edward Hooper

    Embedded Image

    Penguin Press, £25, pp 1070

    ISBN 0 713 99335 0

    Rating: Embedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded Image

    Does it really matter how AIDS started? Not long after AIDS was described in the United States, Europe, and Haiti, it became evident that several countries in sub-Saharan Africa had far greater proportions of people already affected. The belief emerged that the human immunodeficiency viruses arose in Africa. Thanks to molecular technology, the HIV-2 virus, mainly limited to west Africa, was found to be identical in genome organisation to a simian virus (SIV) in the local sooty mangabey. Evidence accumulated about the close relation between the now pandemic HIV-1 and chimpanzee SIVs in central Africa.

    How did the viruses transmit from monkeys and apes to humans, to cause the most important zoonosis yet known? And when? …

    View Full Text