Hahn's position seems illogical. She isn't saying
that the chimp immune systems are *eliminating* the
virus. In fact, she describes them living for decades
with the virus still in their system, merely not causing
them to get sick.
Chimps do not practice monogamy or safe sex. If SIV
is really extremely old, and is not killing the infected chimps,
so as to take them out of circulation, then you would
expect for SIV to be *very* widely spread among chimps
in the wild by now. It doesn't seem like rocket science
to figure out this much. Surely, she must know better.
Instead, she comes with the opposite, that it is SIV is quite
rare. As another non sequitur, she concludes that this
fact somehow confirms her theory everything is natural,
innocent, and fine concerning the origin of AIDS.
The more logical conclusion would be that SIV must
be very recent, if it is not widely spread.
Let's face it- Beatrice Hahn is a propaganda artist who
had one goal in mind from the outset- to deflate all
possible concern over how AIDS came to infect humans.
No matter how intelligent, most human beings gravitate
toward the comforting, illogical belief rather than the
unsettling, logical belief.
----- Original Message -----
From: "B. Elswood" <belswood at hotmail.com>
To: "Blaine Elswood" <Blaine.Elswood at snow.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 2:47 PM
Subject: Fw: Hahn's spin!
>> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <BiGoldberg at aol.com>
> To: <belswood at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2002 12:13 PM
> Subject: Hahn's spin!
>>> Study suggests AIDS rare in wild chimps
>> By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
>>> WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The chimpanzee version of the AIDS virus
> appears to be extremely rare in wild chimps, which suggests the apes
> evolved a way to deal with the killer virus generations ago, researchers
> said on Thursday.
>> They said their study confirmed earlier theories that AIDS passed to
> humans from chimps in Central Africa.
>> The researchers said they had also developed a way to check for the
> virus in feces and urine left by the chimps -- meaning that wild chimps
> not accustomed to humans can now be studied.
>> The research, published in Friday's issue of the journal Science,
> involved chimp experts including Jane Goodall, who has studied the
> animals for 40 years, and groups working in Central and West Africa.
>> "It obviously confirms and extends the theory on the origin of AIDS,"
> said Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama, who published a theory
> in 2000 of the origin of HIV in chimps and who led this week's study.
>> "The closest relatives of the human AIDS virus are those infecting
> chimps in West Central and not in East Africa."
>> There are three different groups of HIV in humans, and while it is
> widely accepted that people probably caught the virus from chimps --
> probably by hunting and eating them -- it was not known if several
> different subspecies of chimps living in different parts of Africa had
> perhaps passed on the virus independently.
>> Hahn first determined that HIV originated in chimps by testing the blood
> of a captive female, who lived with the chimp simian immunodeficiency
> virus (SIV) for decades until her death from other causes.
>> Unlike human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), SIV does not have any
> apparent ill-effects on chimps.
>> But most captive chimps come from a small group of West African chimps.
> "We knew that if the study were to make sense, we had to look in the
> wild," Hahn said in a telephone interview.
>> "The chimp range is huge. We had only a teeny little bit of information
> from captive chimps from one corner of Africa."
>> But this posed a problem.
>> NEED FOR GENTLE TESTS ON ENDANGERED APES
>> "We had to think long and hard ... given that chimps are so endangered.
> We had to look for noninvasive way of screening."
>> They took tests that find antibodies to the virus in human urine samples
> and adapted them to use on chimp leavings in the forest. Then they
> teamed up with primatologists studying wild chimps that had come to
> tolerate their presence.
>> "We said 'Listen, we would really like to do this screening -- would you
> be willing to collect fecal and urine samples for us?,"' Hahn said.
>> They worked with groups at the Gombe Research Center in Tanzania, in
> Uganda and in the Tai forest of Ivory Coast.
>> "We documented that this can be done, that you can study these
> chimpanzees in the wild without touching them, without bothering them,"
> Hahn said.
>> They screened 58 chimps and found just one infected with SIV -- a
> healthy male living in Gombe. But the virus he was infected with was
> genetically very distant from human HIV.
>> This led Hahn to an interesting thought.
>> "The individual in Gombe is perfectly healthy. He is a young male in his
> prime. There is no indication that he is suffering from anything," she
>> SIV may be a very old disease in chimps she said -- unlike HIV, which
> probably first appeared in this century.
>> "Chimps may have 10,000 years of living with this virus," Hahn said. "It
> may have been pathogenic at first, but evolution bred that out."
>> In other words, the most deadly virus would kill its host early, while
> less deadly versions would survive for longer in longer-lived hosts.
>> "Chimps probably went through something several thousand years ago that
> we are going through now and they somehow learned how to handle it. They
> are at a point where we want to be -- but we don't want to wait 10,000
>> Chimps are between 98 and 99 percent genetically identical to humans, so
> the hope is they can be studied to find ways to make AIDS less deadly in
>> 08:54 01-17-02