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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Zoonoses

By Gary Bell

August 5, 2009

Confused? I had not heard of that word either, until I did a little research for this blog about animal-to-human disease transmission. Zoonoses are emerging infectious diseases that have transferred to humans from animal hosts. I embarked on this research after learning of the discovery of a new HIV strain thought to have originated from gorillas native to Cameroon. This makes the fourth documented strain of HIV: strain "M, the most common and "N," "O" and now "P." The latter three seem to manifest themselves primarily from the Cameroon region.

With so much evidence available that HIV is a Zoonose; i.e., that it originated from an animal host, in this case, chimpanzees, then why do so many people still believe that the HIV epidemic is a government conspiracy or some equally paranoid theory?

In fact, most of the temperate diseases (found in temperate or tropical climates) such as measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, influenza A and tuberculosis, are believed to have come from domestic animals. Moreover, most of the major infectious diseases also originated in animals: West Nile, Mad Cow, Cholera, Syphilis, Malaria, Ebola, Lyme Disease, Hantavirus, SARS, Swine Flu.

Clearly, we need a little science lesson. It's time to jettison the conspiracy theories and understand that WE -- our behavior, our ignorance, our intolerance and our apathy pose our greatest risk for HIV infection, not a government test tube!

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See Also
10 Harmful Myths About HIV/AIDS
AIDS Myths

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Ann B (Nebraska) Mon., Oct. 25, 2010 at 8:42 am EDT
Not conspiracies are theories!
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Comment by: Lloyd (Philadelphia, PA) Tue., Oct. 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm EDT
I found an interesting article on Zoonoses here: http://www.infectiousdiseasenews.com/article.aspx?id=33919
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Comment by: Mike (Tallahassee, Fl) Fri., Aug. 14, 2009 at 10:38 am EDT
"Emerging Viruses" by Leonard Horowitz is a well documented "paranoid theory" in your words. I suppose TPTB's self declared #1 problem of population control is worthy of your learned consideration as well.
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Comment by: Godwhacker (Florida, FL) Wed., Aug. 12, 2009 at 9:38 pm EDT
Numerous scientists have stated that the studies to define the HIV/AIDS link have never been properly completed. I think we can all agree that HIV does cause AIDS, but how do we know? If you cause a problem, then you don't need to look for the cause of the problem ~ because you already know.
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Comment by: David (Bloomingdale, IL) Wed., Aug. 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm EDT
Have you read the book the River by Ed Hooper? You should read it and also catch the film "The Origin of AIDS". Yes, a virus probably originated in Chimpanzees but it was more than likely strengthen and distributed in the Congo through the Polio vaccine trials and in NY and LA through Hep B vaccines that were attenuated in Chimp organs. The process strengthened SIV and most likely launched HIV in humans. This book is a must read, it is detailed and scientifically based. It is not a conspiracy if it is true.
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This year marks Bell's 14th as the executive director of the Philadelphia-based BEBASHI (Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health), founded in 1985 as the nation's first AIDS organization serving African Americans with HIV. Bell has been widely praised, not only for increasing funding and accountability at a time when HIV donations have plummeted, but also for launching such innovative programs as a women's initiative, prison-discharge planning, and, most recently, a diabetes intervention.


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