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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Dissident view on the viral load test
Date: 10 Dec 1996

>In article <>, David Crowe
<> writes:
>> Bruce Stephens wrote:
>>> The critical question is whether the serum storage changed from before
>>> 1978 to after, because people have also posted research that shows
>>> that serum stored after 1978 *does* show HIV positivity, and in the
>>> expected way (i.e., samples that were HIV positive turned out to have
>>> come from people in high risk groups).
>>> --
>> Can you explain why the number of Americans infected with HIV has been
>> relatively constant at about 1 million if it is a virus that suddenly
>> appeared in 1978? What kind of a virus would go from zero to 1 million
>> in a couple of years and then stop spreading?
>> - David Crowe

   Just about any virus, once it runs out of susceptible population (or
gets to the point where its spread in less susceptible people is the
same rate as its kill rate in the more susceptible).

   HIV is found in the US only post-1978. It's found a few years
earlier in France, and earlier still in Africa.  Who knows how long
it's been in Africa-- the spread there is probably by means of
connecting long isolated areas with the rest of the country (Kinshasha
Highway, etc).

                                        Steve Harris, M.D.

P.S.  For interest, it seems that the source of another epidemic has
been tentitively idenfified.  Ebola grows in bats, but does not harm
them.  This is important because 2 outbreaks are associated with a
single infected person, and in both cases the persons had visited a
certain out of the way cave (Kitum) in Africa.  Other outbreaks have
been among workers working in large wooden factories known to be home
to bats.  Stay tuned.

   Similarly the HIV virus does not seen to be native to people, but
like rabies and Ebola, is killing a host it hasn't adapted to (yet).

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

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