Why do people get HIV/AIDS but not animals yet their also play sex? BUKYABUBI ABBEY FROM MUSITA P/S
Response from Parkhurst, Justin (D.Phil)
Dear Bukyabubi Abbey,
Animals and Humans get different diseases sometimes; there are some that we have which they do not, and some which they get which we do not.
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (notice the first word, Human). Viruses are very specific sometimes, and will adapt to the specific type of animal they infect. HIV is therefore a human virus.
Some animal viruses are similar to HIV, however. Some primates (like monkeys or chimpanzees) can get a virus called SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) – that virus is similar to HIV, but specifically adapted for those animals. So just because an animal plays sex does not mean it gets HIV/AIDS – there has to be a specific type of virus affecting that specific type of animal for it to be possible.
Response from Dr.Luciana:
One of the theories about the origins of HIV suggests that the virus was transmitted to humans by animals. Exposure of humans to blood when hunting or butchering meat from animals could be a possible transmission route. According to this theory, monkeys and chimpanzees were the first animals to be contaminated with a virus similar to HIV but specific to primates (monkeys, chimpanzes, etc). This virus is called SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) and according to this theory after infecting humans several times it managed to give origin to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The SIV virus was transmitted between primates through sex as well.