Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re: great (Score 1) 323

Most starving Africans at the time were just starving Africans. AIDS almost certainly had its origins in more tropical areas of Africa, as evidenced by the fact that it was contact with bush meat that was the most likely cause of HIV jumping from chimps and other primates over to humans.

Comment Re:Why didn't it blow up in the heteros? (Score 1) 323

It is harder for women to spread the disease, but not impossible, which is why you see such high infection rates in the developing world.

The fact is that if you have multiple sexual partners, gay or straight, vaginal or anal, male or female, you are at increased risk of HIV and STD infections. There are all kinds of other linked factors, as there always is (such as circumcised men being at slightly less risk), or, as you point out, women being less likely to spread the disease because of the structure of the vagina versus the rectum. But as evidenced by HPV, herpes and hepatitis infections, vaginal intercourse doesn't confer some magic immunity against viral STDs. All it takes is an exchange of bodily fluids, so if the man has even a small, possible even invisible lesion on the skin of his penis, he's at elevated risk of infection, and when the person he is having sex with is at later stages of the infection, and viral counts in bodily fluids like blood or vaginal fluids, those risks get higher.

Comment Re:Gay people worldwide was going crazy. (Score 1) 323

What do you mean you're not allowed to say what groups are getting infected? The CDC site itself has breakdowns on the groups where new infections are the highest.

What will get you looked dimly upon in many circles is basically shouting "It's a gay disease!" and somehow asserting that sexuality itself is some inherent determinant of disease progression.

After all, outside the developed world, the bulk of new HIV infections are heterosexuals, which ought to tell you that it isn't a "gay" disease, but rather a disease where people who have unprotected sex with multiple partners put themselves at much greater risk.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 979

I wasn't aware Hillary Clinton had been accused of sex crimes, do tell. And apparently some of the women Trump thought loved him grabbing their genitals weren't quite so impressed.

As to the Bush-Gore issues, there were actual physical problems with the Florida ballots, in other words, there was reason for Gore to seek clarification. It wasn't simply because Gore lost.

And this whole "MSM are part of the lizard conspiracy" is getting tiring. The only reason Trump is even where he is is because the press has given him so much oxygen, and he's risen to the challenge at every occasion. Every single time something appears that might damage Clinton, Trump, who seems neurologically incapable of not having the headline, says something idiotic or outrageous.

Nobody ever thought he had a chance. That he's doing as well as he is is quite phenomenal, and does suggest that if Republicans had picked a real candidate, instead of a reality TV star, they'd probably be sailing to victory right now, and wouldn't be facing not just another four years outside the Oval Office, but the potential of losing the Senate (and possibly a weakened position in the House). Quit blaming Clinton, quit blaming the press, start blaming everyone who picked a man so unsuitable for this job (or, from what I can tell, for any job).

Comment Re: great (Score 2) 323

The current research I've read seems to suggest that the first HIV infections probably happened 70 or 80 years ago. One would also imagine that the virus, not really evolved fine tuning for humans, might have exhibited more muted symptoms (or conversely, it might have been much more lethal, like some other viruses are, and burn themselves out by killing hosts too quickly). In developing countries a lot of things can kill a person before they die of an HIV infection, so it probably simply wasn't noticed until it had found its way to a country where life expectancy and general health was much higher.

Comment Re:We can date the jump into the U.S. in about 197 (Score 5, Insightful) 323

It's not suddenly, in 1979, tens of millions of gay men suddenly started showing signs of immunological deficiency. Because HIV infections take some time to develop into full blown AIDS (and that can be highly dependent on the individual), it would have taken a long time before there would be confirmation that there was something infecting gay men. And once you've established that there is some sort of sexually transmitted disease that leads to AIDS, you now have to literally pour through all sorts of tissue samples, blood samples, lymphatic samples, and so on and so on looking for the needle in the haystack. You'll probably end up going down a few false roads because many of these individuals probably had other STD infections, so you have to also be thinking "could this be some sort of mutated syphilis or hepatitis infection?"

It is largely because of diseases like AIDS and the technology developed to isolate infectious agents that we are so much better today than we were thirty or forty years ago. To judge the medical community of the early 1980s by the standards of the 21st century is absurd.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1, Insightful) 323

Lots of people have had unprotected sex through the ages. HIV infections certainly are one of the nastier STDs around, but diseases like hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea have been infecting humans for thousands of years. The problem for any sexually active group in the 1960 and 1970s was that most bacterial STD infections were readily treated with penicillin, so if you got the clap, you got a prescription, cleaned yourself up and away you went. The only thing that singled gay men out more than other populations at the time were the greater risks from anal intercourse.

While there had been rumors floating around about the "gay disease" in the 1970s, it took some for doctors to isolate a probable infectious agent, so without at least some strong hint as to whether it was an STD or some other illness, what exactly could anyone told any sexually active person in the heterosexual or homosexual communities? Patient 0 and his partners would have had no idea that they were carrying an incurable viral infection, so assigning blame seems utterly idiotic. Yes, once there was strong evidence that there was a virus that was causing AIDS, the medical community was able to inform homosexual men, intravenous drug users and other vulnerable groups that they were at high risk, and could provide information on how to prevent the spread of the disease. But the "Patient 0" generation sadly did not even really know they could be infected, and in turn, infect their sexual partners.

Comment Re:Conspiracy Theories (Score 5, Interesting) 323

According to this article, the family of viruses HIV belongs to have been infecting primates for millions of years. As to HIV-1 and HIV-2, it has this to say about probable origins:

The HIV-2 strain is widely accepted to have been passed from sooty mangabeys in west Africa to humans, probably bushmeat hunters or those keeping the primates as pets, or both. Scientists believe HIV-1 was passed from chimpanzees to humans.

So what we likely have is a couple of events, unlikely in and of themselves, but where there is enough interspecies contact, as keeping infected pets or eating infected bushmeat, that the these two related viruses managed to cross-infect. After that, the viruses would have quickly have evolved to their new hosts (which really are pretty damned closely related to the old hosts).

Comment Re:Russia is preparing for a Trump win I see... (Score 0) 979

He can't even stay on topic for more than 30 seconds, and appears to have an overall ability to remain calm of about 30 minutes. He isn't really even suitable to run businesses, and I expect that the reality is that he doesn't run his own businesses at all.

At any rate, he's going to lose. Even if Clinton loses Florida, she's still got at least five other ways to win, whereas Trump has to pretty much win all the battleground states. Simply put, it isn't going to happen.

Slashdot Top Deals

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll