Chimps Not Immune to HIV

A team of researchers have discovered that chimpanzees in Tanzania die from a disease that is similar to AIDS, which they hope could lead to new insights about the disease and eventually to the development of a HIV vaccine.

The nine-year study, which was published in the British research journal Nature, showed that chimps that are infected by certain strains of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (or SIV, the precursor to HIV), die 10 to 16 times more frequently compared to uninfected chimps.

The findings would contradict previous evidence that suggests chimpanzees were immune from the virus and that the SIV were harmless among primates.  It is also said that some wild chimpanzees were infected with SIV from eating infected monkey, which was also said to be the cause of HIV:  when humans ate wild chimp meat that is infected with a strain of SIV in West Africa.

AIDS researchers hope that this new discovery could deduce how SIV and HIV can cause disease among closely-related chimpanzees and humans.

 
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