The history of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus research

  • Aleksandra Bruś-Chojnicka Department and Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Maciej Bura Department and Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Michał Chojnicki Department of Biology and Environmental Protection, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Walentyna Śmieińska City Hospital in Gorzow Wielkopolski, Department of Ginecology and Obstertics, Poland
  • Mariola Pawlaczyk Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
  • Iwona Mozer-Lisewska Department and Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Keywords: AIDS, HIV, SIV, zoonosis

Abstract

The authors summarize the current knowledge of the beginnings of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. Most of the studies have so far supported the theory that HIV infections had in their initial years been a typical zoonosis which had been present among African tribes for over 300 years. Most likely, infection was transferred from monkeys, particularly from chimpanzees, on multiple occasions. The most recent publications allow us to describe the transfer of the virus into humans, and new epidemiological data allow us to carry out analysis of the global spread of the virus. Studies of histopathological samples taken from patients in the 1960s have cast new light on the issue of virus presence in the US population, and the previous theories tracking the beginning of infections to the 1980s have had to be modified. Greater awareness of pandemic mechanisms should allow for more effective future counteraction of the spread of new pathogens.