By the end of 2004 AIDS will have killed nearly 30 million people, making it the worst outbreak of infectious disease in recorded history.
The closest animal relative to HIV-1 (the AIDS virus) is a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) found in the common chimpanzee . There are many SIVs in nature, but they are only naturally found in African primates.
For several years now, there have been only two really viable theories about how this chimp virus might have arrived in humans, and how the AIDS pandemic began.
One theory, the "cut hunter" or "bushmeat" theory, has it that AIDS got started after an African hunter got infected with chimpanzee SIV while cutting up a chimp for the pot. This theory is non-controversial, but it has many problems and flaws. Most particularly, it fails to explain the timing and location of the earliest AIDS cases.
The second theory, the "oral polio vaccine" or "OPV" theory, has it that AIDS began after an experimental OPV that had been cultured in chimpanzee cells was given to nearly a million Africans from the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Rwanda in the latter half of the 1950s. This hypothesis is highly controversial, and is rejected by many medical scientists, (including those who prepared and administered the vaccine). There is concerted opposition to the theory from those who publish and write in Nature and Science, the world's two leading scientific journals. However, despite the fact that many of the aforesaid scientists deny it, this is the theory that is supported by most of the available historical and scientific evidence.
I believe that the OPV theory explains how AIDS emerged, with such devastating effect, in Man. You will find much of the information that supports this view (as well as much of that which opposes it) on this web-site.
Ed Hooper, May 2004
[Much of the material on this site first appeared on Brian Martin's site Polio Vaccines and the origin of AIDS. Until now Professor Martin's site has exclusively hosted articles by Edward Hooper, as well as a wealth of other information for those wanting to investigate the OPV/AIDS theory and dissent in science.]