Tuesday, May 28, 2019
"The Rise of HIV" from SciDoc gives an excellent technical and medical history of how AIDS evolved
SciShow has an excellent documentary “The Rise of HIV”, in two parts, about 21 minutes.
The first part explains how HIV may have jumped species from a sick monkey in Cameroon in 1908, when natives ate the meat. Eventually, through migration patterns, several varieties were carried by prostitutes in various parts of Africa, or were likely spread by reusable syringes in medicine. Because of a complicated migration, the virus settled in Haiti in the 1960s. It is though to have entered the United States in 1969 (Randy Shilts had written 1976, the Tall Ships, in “And the Band Played On”.) But it took more than ten years to affect the gay male community. There was a particular incident in 1978, my last year in New York City, where I think I might have had a narrow miss.
The second video explains how the drugs to control HIV developed, starting with HIV and leading to the protease inhibitors, which have to be taken in combination to avoid the mutations, and they have to be taken faithfully. The film discussed PrEP. Some people have different surface protein markers on their T4 cells, called CCR5, which makes it harder for them to be infected, which may explain why sometimes partners of people who died never became infected.