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The Naked Truth The Sexual Health Blog

How AIDS Began In Africa

March 29th, 2012 by The Sexual Health Team


It’s hard to imagine a time when AIDS wasn’t part of our sexual health landscape. Yet there was a time when few people knew what AIDS was, and even less people were concerned about this sexually transmitted disease. Sadly, in today’s age of sexually transmitted diseases, no one can afford to be uninformed and ignorance is not bliss.

That said, where did AIDS come from and how did this new chapter of sexual health begin?

The answer is still a little unclear. While many scientists and health professionals still have questions about the origin and spread of AIDS, it is widely believed that the disease first began in Africa. Many HIV researchers believe that the virus had its initial stages in sub-Saharan Africa in primates. It is believed to have begun as a strain of SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) and then passed to humans as the virus we now know of as HIV.

The spread of SIV into the human population appears to have begun around the early 20th century. The simian virus made its way into the human population via a process known as zoonosis. Simply put, zoonosis is the process from which a virus moves from the animal kingdom into the human population. Zoonosis is most likely to occur in populations where humans and animals live in close contact and the infection can spread throughout the human population without abatement.

While we probably won’t ever be 100% certain of the exact location and origin of HIV/AIDS, we do know that education and information are the most powerful ways to stop the spread of this deadly virus. People have to be educated and empowered when it comes to safeguarding their own sexual health.

It’s important to realize that everyone is at risk for STDs, including HIV, and there is no way to tell if they are infected or not simply by looking at someone. Some people might be infected without even knowing it, which is why it is so important to practice safer sex measures (condoms, dental dams, etc.) and why it is so important to get tested on a regular basis and have your partner do the same.

Visit www.SexualHealth.com to learn more and to find out how you undergo fast, confidential, and simple HIV and STD testing.

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