Where did HIV come from?

In 1999, scientists discovered the origins of HIV-1. HIV has been found to be related to a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) found in a subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa. Scientists believe that HIV was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sure that the virus existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979-1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer and other illness were recognized by doctors around the United States. In 1982, public health officials termed the occurrences of rare illnesses Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS, which was later named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
2. What is an Opportunistic Infection (OI)?
3. Where did HIV come from?
4. How is someone infected with HIV?
5. Can I get HIV from casual contact with someone who is infected?
6. How can someone reduce the risk of being infected with HIV?
7. How does someone know if they are infected with HIV?
8. What are the symptoms of HIV infection?
9. Is there a cure for HIV?
10. Does everyone who has HIV eventually develop AIDS?
11. Where should someone begin if they want to get HIV care?
12. When should someone start taking HIV treatment?
13. How much does HIV care cost?
14. If someone is diagnosed with AIDS, does that mean they will die soon?
15. If someone is HIV positive, what else can they do to stay healthy?