Not much is known about acquired immune deficiency syndrome, commonly referred to as AIDS, but it is believed that the disease has spread from non-human primates in Africa to human species around 1908, and has been in circulation among people since 1930s. AIDS, as we know it today, was first recognized in 1981 among five men from Los Angeles who were gay. 


First Transference of HIV Virus to People 

We do not definitely know how exactly the HIV virus is transmitted from non-human primates to humans, but there are certain hypotheses involving an African common practice of slaying and butchering chimps for their meat, which was then sold at numerous markets in various cities around Africa. People would buy it, and would get a simpler form of virus which is not harmful to people or to chimps, called SIV, simian immunodeficiency virus, but it evolved over time and became the most horrible disease and a grave danger for humans. The strain that is the main guilty perpetrator for spreading AIDS dates back to the time between 1915 – 1949, according to the tissue samples taken in Zaire sometime around 1959. From a few different SIV transfers, from non-human primates to people, there arose three groups of HIV-1 and a few groups of less known HIV-2, which is a horrible fact in itself.


Dispersing the HIV virus

There were two phases of spreading AIDS around the world. HIV stayed in the boundaries of equatorial Africa first, until global urbanization and international and intercontinental travel came to the global scene. That was the second phase that brought HIV to the rest of the world. Parts of Africa still suffer from this horrible disease. Around 64 % of people are infected, and interestingly enough, the virus is spread through heterosexual contacts rather than gay ones. In the USA, most of the infected population are gay men. The numbers of new infections among gay male population slightly dropped in the 1980s and 1990s, but then the numbers went off the charts in the late 1990s and stayed that way. Ironically, that happened after the new HIV treatments were introduced to the public, like antiviral therapy, which furthermore resulted in less fear about the consequences of HIV, and the fact that people didn’t take safe sex that seriously anymore. Today, around 5-7 % of males of any age in the USA identify themselves as being gay, which again results in non-proportional statistics concerning the HIV virus, which does not exclusively attack gay men. Around 27% of victims of HIV were women, and around 31% of people were actually infected through heterosexual contacts, rather than gay ones.

We can draw a conclusion from these statistics, that since the discovery of HIV, its impact on general population suggests that we have to have various ways to treat, contain, prevent and educate people about this dangerous virus in order to fight this modern day plague that consumes our human society in the modern world.