Sousa JD de, V Müller, A-M Vandamme: The epidemic emergence of HIV ... (2017)

Sousa JD de, V Müller, A-M Vandamme
The epidemic emergence of HIV: what novel enabling factors were involved?
Future Virology 2017 Oct 20.
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Humans acquired retroviruses from simians, mainly through bushmeat handling. All epidemically successful HIV groups started to spread in early 20th century, contrasting with the antiquity of T-cell lymphotropic viruses, implying that novel enabling factors were involved in HIV emergence. Here we review the Parenteral Serial Transmission and the Enhanced Heterosexual Transmission hypotheses for the adaptation and early spread of HIV. Epidemic start roughly coincides in time with peak genital ulcer disease in cities, suggesting a major role for sexual transmission. Only ill-adapted and rare HIV groups emerged after approximately 1950, when injections and transfusions attained their maximal levels, suggesting that if parenteral serial transmission was necessary for HIV adaptation, it had to be complemented by sexual transmission for HIV to reach epidemic potential.