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What are some possible origins of AIDS?

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The most commonly recognized theory on the origins of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is that hunters ate or came in contact with blood from chimpanzees with simian immunodeficiency virus, according to Avert. The simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, mutated in the hunters' bodies resulting in a strain of human immunodeficiency virus, called HIV-1, which ultimately results in AIDS.

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In 1999, scientists discovered SIVcpz, a strain of simian immunodeficiency virus in chimpanzees, that was nearly identical to HIV found in humans, proving HIV-1 originated in chimpanzees, explains Avert. Scientists believe a different strain of human immunodeficiency virus, called HIV-2, comes from SIVsmm found in soot mangabey monkeys and transferred to humans in the same way as HIV-1, by hunters consuming or coming in contact with infected monkey blood. Research suggests the first human cases of HIV occurred in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1920s and spread from there. The United States first became aware of HIV and AIDS in the 1980s when an epidemic occurred among hemophiliacs, heroin users and gay men in New York City and California.

One theory suggests that hepatitis B vaccines genetically engineered by scientists during Nixon's War on Cancer and distributed to homosexual men in New York City may have caused the AIDS epidemic in the United States, informs New Dawn Magazine. One conspiracy theory suggests that scientists created the strain of HIV commonly found in Americans in a lab, citing the fact that the American strain is inherently different than the strain in Africa.

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