Urban Development Helped Cause the Spread of AIDS according to scientists…

02Oct08

So a new study shows that the AIDS virus has been around for over a hundred years.  Here’s some snippets from the article —

 

Genetic analysis pushes the estimated origin of HIV back to between 1884 and 1924, with a more focused estimate at 1908.

The new result is “not a monumental shift, but it means the virus was circulating under our radar even longer than we knew,” said Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona, an author of the new work.

The results appear in the Thursday issue of the journal Nature. Researchers note that the newly calculated dates fall during the rise of cities in Africa, and they suggest urban development may have promoted the initial establishment and early spread of HIV.

Scientists say HIV descended from a chimpanzee virus that jumped to humans in Africa, probably when people butchered chimps. Many individuals were probably infected that way, but so few other people caught the virus that it failed to get a lasting foothold, researchers say.

But the growth of African cities may have changed that by putting many people close together and promoting prostitution, Worobey suggested. “Cities are kind of ideal for a virus like HIV,” providing more chances for infected people to pass the virus to others, he said.

 

Thought it was an interesting find if not that monumental…. makes me think what other diseases are forming that we do not know about yet.  I mean just three months ago how many of us knew of Governor Palin…

via IHT

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