People affected by AIDS totalize 32 million in the world (November, 2007).
North America (USA and Canada) has 1.5 millions of AIDS patients.
USA reports 47000 new seropositive cases; about 21000 die annually.
Latin America and Caribbean Islands hold 2.8 million of seropositives. 150000 deaths.
Mexico informs about 45000 new cases of AIDS each year. Up to date (June, 2006), there are 118 thousand people infected with AIDS in Mexico.
Europe and Central Asia have reached 2.48 million people affected by AIDS. 40400 deaths through last year.
Eastern Asia, South Asia, Sotheastern Asia and the Pacific Islands have touched 10.2 million. This year (2006), 694000 people died by AIDS.
China alone has about 2.1 million people with AIDS, most of them infected through intravenous drug use or poor sanitation in China's blood-buying industry. Projections rise in 20 million of infected people by 2010 (about 60 millions), most of them infected through intravenous drug use or poor sanitation in China's blood-buying business.
Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) holds 18000 cases. 240 deaths by 2005.
North Africa and Israel present 800 thousand affected by AIDS. 85 thousand deaths per year.
Sub-Saharan Africa stays increasing the number. Most recent statistic reveals 35 million of seropositive cases. Last year (2005), 2.8 million people died from AIDS.
World AIDS population (2005) = 42 million people.
Affected adults = 39.5 million people-
Children under 15 years = 2.5 million people.
New cases this year (2004) = 6 million: 4.2 adults, 700 thousand children under 15 years.
Deaths = 3 million: 2.5 adults, 500 thousand children under 15 years.
Female and children populations are more affected in poor countries (24.5% from pregnant women, and 1.7 % from orphan children).
DID HIV CAME FROM AFRICA?
Yes, HIV came from Africa. It has been demonstrated that HIV began in Belgian Congo in 1950s. Some scientists reported that it was magnified in 1970s by antipoliomyelitis vaccinations.
Scientists have demonstrated that SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) is the origin of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) in humans (Beatriz H. Hahn, George M. Show, et al., AIDS as a Zoonosis: Scientific and Public health Implications; Science, Vol. 287, No. 5453, pp. 607-614, issue of 28 January 2000).
SIV has been found in chimpanzee's excrement and urine. Besides, many peoples in Africa usually ingest simian meat that they hunt or acquire at "bushmeat markets" (commercial name for this class of retailing). In this way, the risk groups are those that hunt and manipulate the contaminated meat.
It has been demonstrated that at least two kinds of SIV can be trasmitted to humans through a biological process, making very easy the dissemination of the virus.
Besides HIV-1 type, there are three new strains of the letal virus. Scientists have recognized the M ("major") group, the O ("outlier") group, and the N ("new") group. Because of the similarities between a specific gene from the N strain and the SIV (the simian viral strain), virologists have concluded that SIV is the evolutionary origin of the human types.
Once the SIV has invaded human lymphocytes, they replicate fiercely, and the proportion of mutations is increased in extraordinary form.
Therefrom that HIV in Africa is wiping humans out (bad vaccinations plus manipulation and ingestion of raw simian meat).
The second answer about the broad spreading of AIDS in Africa is linked with inflexible governors, who affirm that the HIV does not produce AIDS. We think they are actually the main danger for African people.
HIV & VACCINES
Two investigators published a paper in Science magazine (B. Korber, et al., Timing the Ancestor of the HIV-1 Pandemic Strains, Volume 288, Number 5472, Issue of 9 Jun 2000, pp. 1789-1796), where they said that there is evidence on the contamination of antipoliomyelitis vaccine with HIV. They said that the vaccine was applied in 1970 in a worldwide campaign, and that it had been contaminated when the attenuated virus was cultivated in kidneys of monkeys, which were the reservoir of the simian virus (SIV).
On the other hand, recent researches have linked the smallpox vaccination with an increase on the organic resistance against HIV. This has been confirmed in animals of laboratory, in which it has been found that those that received the smallpox vaccine have presented an efficient response against the infection with HIV.
This finding is quite hopeful for the abatement of this awful illness that has caused the death of more than 23 million persons in the world.
OTHER HYPOTHESES ON THE CAUSE OF HIV/AIDS
The day of the inauguration of the Conference on AIDS/HIV, president Mbeki addressed the first seminar. He declared that Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is not caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
This vision of a problem that threatens with spread among the population of Sub-Saharan Africa responds to some points of view, generated by some scientists who have endorsed the disease to malnutrition and the utilization of drugs.
The hypothesis was emitted by the biologist Peter Duesberg, who based his reasoning on observations since the recognition of the disease in the 1980s. He has argued that AIDS is caused by long-term utilization of drugs and malnutrition, not by a virus.
Dr. Peter Duesberg has showed data which apparently demonstrate the validity of his hypothesis. In his records, he correlates the incidence of AIDS among homosexuals and their abuse of injected drugs. Duesberg concluded that intravenous drugs cause the collapse of the immunological system.
Some investigators have contradicted Dr. Duesberg’s opinions, although few have recognized that they cannot give surety on the HIV like the real cause of AIDS.
Some of the arguments in opposition to Duesberg's assertions are:
The count of CD4 T-lymphocytes among intravenous drugs users who are not infected by the virus is found into normal parameters (800 to 1000 CD4 T-cells); nevertheless, the infected patients who had been using drugs by similar periods than the non-infected users of intravenous drugs present low levels of CD4 T-cells.
Dr. Duesberg says that in some cases the antiretroviral medication (e.g. AZT) against HIV is the real origin of the disease, not the virus itself. Nevertheless, the HIV- positive patients present symptoms and low-levels of CD4 T-cells long time before they start using antiretroviral medication.
Another hypothesis considered by Ernest Jawetz et al in their book Review of Medical Microbiology, is the correlation between Hepatitis B and AIDS. They say in chapter 47: “For example, most of the AIDS patients have tests of the infection by virus of hepatitis B… It is possible that the host with partial alterations of his defenses of other origins is more sensible to the infection by HTLV-III (n. a.: HTLV-III is the original name of the virus).”
The hypothesis is interesting and it has been considered by other investigators; however, the link has been found to be a coinfection given the collapse of the body defenses against opportunistic pathogens, more than the cause of the disease.
ORAL SEX AND HIV
HIV/AIDS can be transmitted by three known ways:
- Inappropriate use of non-sterilized clinical instruments (as hypodermics).
Until now, we have not observed the viral transmission through the bite of insects, although many biologists are studying if it is possible. However, there is a very extensive possibility on contagions through oral sex.
Is it possible that HIV is transmitted by oral sex? According to studies by many scientists, HIV could be transmitted through oral sex. The last statistics report about 10% of all cases in men that were infected through oral sex.
The conditions for the infection are a mucous membrane and the presence of body fluids containing HIV. For this case, the oral mucous would act as a way of entrance for the viruses; conversely, the vaginal mucus and the seminal fluid would act like the medium for the propagation of the virus.
Unfortunately, up to now scientists have registered some cases of virus transmission by oral sex. Tests in macaques have corroborated that HIV can be transmitted through oral sex. There is risk of transmission through oral sex from male to female, from female to male, from male to male, and from female to female. The contagion would occur even if there are not lacerations of the oral mucosa and/or lips.
Beatrice H. Hahn, George M. Shaw, Kevin M. De Cock, Paul M. Sharp. AIDS as a Zoonosis: Scientific and Public Health Implications. Science. 28 January 2000: Vol. 287. No. 5453, pp. 607-614.
B. Korber, et al. Timing the Ancestor of the HIV-1 Pandemic Strains. Science. Volume 288, Number 5472, Issue of 9 Jun 2000, pp. 1789-1796.
Jawetz, Ernest, Melnick, Joseph L., Adelberg, Edward A. Review of Medical Microbiology. 12th edition-1987. Lange Medical Publications. Los Altos, CA.
Mader, Sylvia S. Human Biology. Eigth edition-2004. McGraw-Hill. New York, NY.
Barre-Sinoussi, F., Chermann, J. C., Rey, F., Nugeyre, M. T., Chamaret, S., Gruest, J., Dauguet, C., Axler-Blin, C., Vezinet-Brun, F., Rouzioux, C., Rozenbaum, W., and Montagnier, L. Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Science. 20 May 1983: Vol. 220. No. 4599, pp. 868 - 871.