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Lewes, Delaware
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July 14, 2000     Cape Gazette
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July 14, 2000
 

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42 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 14 - July 20, 2000 Specialist discusses monkeys and the origin of AIDS Question: Is it true that AIDS came from monkeys in Africa? Answer: Probably. Modern DNA and RNA analysis allows for a much more direct means of telling if two species are related - just look at the organism's DNA or RNA. Closely related species will share a large part of their DNA/RNA sequences. The DNA of two monkey species, let's say the macaque monkey and the African green monkey, will share much of this DNA homology, indicating that they are at least distant relatives, and at one time long ago, may have originated from the same ancestor. Similarly, viruses can be ana- lyzed to see who is related to whom. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) causes an AIDS-like syndrome in macaques, a com- mon type of monkey in Africa. This virus may have been present in the monkey population of Africa for centuries and inflicts a more rapid blow to the immune system than HIV does in humans. Infected monkeys often die within five months. The SIV virus is very similar in its RNA sequence to the HIV-2 virus, sharing about 75 percent of its RNA sequence in common. The SIV virus is also related and similar to HIV- 1, sharing about 40 per- cent RNA homology. This OLEWILER is "the kind of similarity between the monkey virus and the human virus that leads most virologists to theorize that SIV, HIV-2 and HIV-l may have been descendants of a com- mon ancestor virus many years before human infection was real- ized. Africa is an area where these monkey species are prominent, and the SIV and HIV-2 viruses are endemic. It is probably no acci- dent that the African AIDS pan- demic is more established than anywhere else in the world. In some villages of Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda, more than 25 per- cent of pregnant women are HIV- infected. In Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya, 90 percent of the prosti- tutes are infected. It seems likely that this is the geographic region conference room at Beebe Medical Center. Support group members are involved in educat- ing the public about the hazards of tobacco and discuss the spe- cial needs of laryngectomes and their methods of communicating. For more information, call Kelly Crockett, speech therapist, at 645-3235. Briefly SHARP Center offers free mv testing In addition to Sussex County AIDS Committee providing free and anonymous testing from 4 to 6 p.m. every Thursday, SHARP Center offers free and anony- mous testing by appointment five days a week. SHARP Center, located at 107B South St., Rehoboth Beach, uses OraSure, an oral test that does not require any blood to be drawn. For more information, call Jeanne at 644-1094. Surviving Partners meets Saturdays Surviving Partners, a support group for those who have lost loved ones to AIDS, meets at 7 p.m., every other Saturday. For more information, call Ward at 645-1854. P.LActive offers evening support group EL.Active, a nonprofit HIV[AIDS service organization, is offering early evening support groups at 5 p.m., Tuesdays, at St. Peter's Parish House, Second and Mulberry streets, Lewes. Bosom Buddies meets July 18 Bosom Buddies support group will meet at 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 18, in the Tunnell Cancer Center conference room. The group is for women living with breast cancer, whether they are newly diagnosed, are currently undergoing treatment or are long-time survivors. Call 645- 3770 for more information. Laryngectomy group to meet July 19 Let's Talk, a laryngectomy support group, meets the third Wednesday of each month from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 19, in the Tunnell Cancer where HIV started. How did the SIV virus mutate into HIV and eventually cross from monkey to humans? No one knows. One interesting theory takes note that in the 1910s, syringes and needles were intro- duced into the African Great Lakes region. Communities did exist that considered the inocula- tion of blood from other people OR from certain species of mon- keys to be a powerful magical remedy for illness. This would have provided an excellent way to introduce the SIV illness into humans, where it could have learned how to evolve into HIV. It would have been very possible for HIV transmission among isolated African tribes to have continued for decades, unnoticed by the rest of the world, before it was finally "discovered" in the United States and Europe. HIV was identified as the cause of AIDS by French researchers in 1983. Editor's note: Dr. Scott Olewiler is an infectious disease Center. For details or to make an specialist at Beebe Medical appointment, ca116453196. FREE ANONYMOUS HIV TESTING every Thursday at the SCAC Office from 4:00- 6:00 pm No Appointment Necessary Monday - Friday at the SHARP Center By Appointment Only For more information or directions contact: Sussex County AIDS Committee 107 South Street Rehoboth Beach SCAC 644-1090 SHARP Crt. 644-1094 I II You Don't Need To Phone A Friend ... At Seaside Pointe. W_o.,hirrJ  14illiOrlaire how/ .:/-" AI Seaside Pointe, you won't need to phone a friend to tell a story or share a laugh ... you'll find many new friends right here. With activities thai encourage group participation, to common areas that invite conversation, you and your new friends will hove plenty to do ... and plenty to talk about. So don1 be surprised if mom's not by the phone waiting for your call, because at Seaside Pointe, there's so much more to do ... and that's our final answer. For more information, please call [302i 226,,8?50 or visit our website at //,..../"' 100 Seaside Blvd. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971 l i i