PerspectiveAids

Origins of HIV

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Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1757-1759
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1757

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Summary

Establishing the date when immunodeficiency viruses were transmitted from nonhuman primates to humans should provide a clue to the origin of the AIDS pandemic. In his Perspective, Hillis discusses an important analysis of the molecular divergence of SIV and HIV genes ( Korber et al.). This analysis establishes 1931 as the date of origin of the HIV-1 M-group viruses (the principal cause of the AIDS pandemic). Hillis discusses three possible hypotheses of immunodeficiency virus transmission that are consistent with this date.