20061011

 

Hahn's latest SIV sequences from Cameroonian chimps: an alternative interpretation

Excerpt from "The Hollywooding of Science":

"...The available serological evidence does not offer any support whatsoever to Hahn and Sharp's thinking. In fact, it runs quite strongly against it. Here is a quick review of the relevant evidence that I have in my files, augmented by information from the excellent HIV/AIDS Surveillance Database, published by the US Bureau of Census. In 1975-8, blood was taken from 340 pygmies (the greatest of all bushmeat hunters) from the borders of Congo Brazzaville and Central African Republic (CAR), who live just 100-150 miles to the north-east of the suspect Cameroonian chimps. Not one of these samples was found to be HIV-1-positive. Further surveys were conducted in CAR in 1986 among 280 members of the general population in Sangha region (which extends to as close as 50 miles from Hahn's chimps). Again, not one positive. Another much larger survey was conducted in 1984-7 among 782 pygmies from Sangha region and Lobaye region (immediately to the east), again without a single HIV-1-positive.[9] This evidence strongly suggests that no HIV-1 derived from the Cameroonian chimp troops ever escaped northwards up the Sangha river, into the south-west of Central African Republic or northern Congo Brazzaville, despite the fact that there appears to be quite a heavy traffic of small boats on that part of the river. If Hahn and Sharp are right in their assumption that this south-eastern corner of Cameroon is the source of pandemic HIV-1, then these wholly negative findings are, to say the least, surprising.The Hollywooding of Science: "The available serological evidence does not offer any support whatsoever to Hahn and Sharp's thinking. In fact, it runs quite strongly against it..."

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