Im glad none of you accused me of joking or exaggerating when I told this story:
A *very* common exchange I have with the general public regarding HIV-1:
Person– Where did HIV-1 come from?
Me– HIV-1 is related to a virus we can find in African primates, SIV. SIV crossed over from chimpanzees to the human population to make ‘HIV’ sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s. This event happened at least three times, giving us the three groups of HIV-1, Groups M, N, and O, however it most likely has occurred numerous times over the course of human evolution, it just never lead to a pandemic like what we have with HIV-1 today. You can go get blood samples from African hunters right now and find viruses not found in any other human.
Person– *makes a face* From eating monkeys? It wasnt from (whispers) having sex with monkeys?
Me– I seriously doubt it. People in other parts of the world hunt and eat monkeys the same way we hunt and eat deer. Technically, I would actually bet it would be easier to have sex with an unwilling deer than an unwilling chimpanzee. Opposable thumbs and like twice the strength of a human and such.
“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community,” he told Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts a radio program on SiriusXM OutQ. “It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”
“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”
As much as I would like to make fun of this guy, and as stupid as his statements were, I have to reiterate, what he said is a very common misconception here in the US. I have to reiterate:
This observation isnt meant as social commentary, but I do think its *REALLY* funny that some people think it is more believable that we got HIV-1 from having sex with chimpanzees, than from eating chimpanzees. Some yall is messed up. LOL!
Messed up, but very common. So let me use that assholes comments as ‘a teachable moment’.
Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community
HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, came from a colony of chimpanzees in Cameroon in the late 1800s, early 1900s. The virus was originally introduced into the homosexual community in the US via an unlucky founder event. However in the areas where HIV is an epidemic, and in the US present day, heterosexual women are the group hardest hit.
It was one guy screwing a monkey
People in Africa hunt non-human primates for food the same way we hunt deer for food. Because of our genetic similarity to these non-human primates, zoonotic events where the hunters and his immediate family are infected with a non-human pathogen are relatively common. However human-to-human transmission is more rare. That being said, SIV transferred from chimpanzees to humans at least three times (HIV-1 Group M, N, and O) and from sooty mangabeys at least once (HIV-2). It probably occurred many times, but did not lead to an epidemic due to 1) chance, and 2) lack of a globalized society.
and then having sex with men
The most likely scenareo is that male hunter went to the city and had sex with a female prostitute, who had sex with local men as well as visiting colonists from other countries capitalizing on Africas copper belt, and then it got spread all over Africa and all around the world, thanks to a global society.
It was an airline pilot
No, but humans ability to travel by air did facilitate the spread of HIV-1.
it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex
The most recent transmission rates–
MTF: 0.0019 (once every 525 sexual encounters).
FTM: 0.0010 (once every 1000 encounters).
Using condoms decreases the risk. Keeping viral loads low with antiretrovirals also decreases risk. And obviously, those numbers are statistics, not reality. They dont mean a woman can have unprotected sex with an HIV-1 positive partner 524 times and not be infected, nor does is mean that a guy can have sex with an HIV-1 infected prostitute a few times and not be infected. Heterosexuals are infected with HIV-1 all the time.
Men, women, children, of all ages, can and do get infected with HIV-1.
It is not ‘virtually impossible’.
People with a cavalier attitude about HIV infection like Stacey are the ones helping HIV-1 spread with misinformation (if they arent spreading it personally themselves).
But just in case you think this statement was the end of Staceys idiocy… it was not. Behold this golden turd:
“A lot of people trying to gloss over and say it’s an every-person disease but really it’s just those high-risk people that are most likely to contract or spread that disease. “The odds of a regular man getting it from a regular woman are very low,” he said.
We asked, “What do you mean by ‘regular?'”
He said, “someone who is not from Africa, someone who is not a homosexual, someone who is not an IV drug user, someone who is not sleeping with someone who is one of those things.”
Lets just ignore the fact Stacey is compounding the stigma that HIV/AIDS is a ‘dirty’ disease that only dirty people get. Lets walk right up the gem Stacey presented us with: “Hi! Im Stacey Campfield! And I want to make it 100% clear that I am really, really racist and homophobic by declaring in a very public way that Africans and homosexuals are NOT ‘regular’.”
ROFL! I mean WTF, dude! WTF is the matter with you?? Did your mom do IV drugs while she was pregnant with you or something?? WTF LOL!!! And lets just get this out there– for a TOTALLY NOT GAY guy, Stacey sure spends a lot of time focused on homosexuality. If only someone had protected you from hearing about homosexuality when you were young, you might not be having these ‘dirty’ not ‘regular’ feeling, eh Stacey? Yeah Imajustgonna start this ‘Countdown to Haggard Town’ clock over here…
Stacey, if you lock yourself in a closet, you probably wont get infected with HIV. But dont be surprised if you call a radio show from your safe closet and people think you are a friggen weirdo.