Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

New Theory On the Introduction of AIDS in Humans

October 27, 1999
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

As world population recently reached 6 billion, The Worldwatch Institute is saying that the HIV epidemic is measurably slowing population growth. Nowhere is this more evident that in sub-Saharan Africa, where of millions of people have died from AIDS and millions of others are infected with the HIV virus. AIDS has reached epidemic proportions in countries like the Congo and South Africa, where it is estimated that one fifth of their adult populations will die from AIDS, and where between one in four and one in five people are infected with the HIV virus.

While drug companies have made millions of dollars from selling high-cost medications dealing with HIV, there is still the question of how the virus was first introduced in humans.

Today we will take a look at a remarkable and controversial theory on the origins of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS. It holds that AIDS began after an experimental polio vaccine, known as CHAT, was administered to over one million people in Africa between 1957 and 1960. Some batches of CHAT were prepared in chimpanzee kidneys. The significance of this is that the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) of the chimpanzee is now widely accepted as the direct ancestor of HIV-1, the virus that is said to have caused 99 percent of the world’s 15 million AIDS cases to date.

Guest:

  • Edward Hooper, author of the book ??The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS, which examines the origins of the AIDS epidemic. He is a former United Nations official and BBC correspondent in Africa, and also wrote ??Slim, an account of the AIDS epidemic.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.