Spread of AIDS

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Tue, 31 Jan 1995 19:19:54 PST

On Jan 30, Luis Medina wrote:

> ... I'm still lurking for some anthro scholar to address
>the aids epidemic from any antro point(s) of view.

I heard on the news the other night that AIDS is now the leading
cause of the most deaths per year in the U. S. The origin and
cause are certainly controversial topics perhaps too broad for
comprehensive coverage here. However, of possible relevance to
anthro might be the manner in which it spreads globally.

A number of years ago, there was an article in the London Times
(May 11, 1987, front page) linking the spread of AIDS to
administering of a smallpox vaccine. There have been subsequent
figures showing a surprising concentration of early cases in
discrete areas, namely Uganda, Haiti, and Brazil, coincidental
sites of smallpox vaccine programs. In the 60's, there was
similar concern over polio vaccines spreading the simian virus
(SV40) at one time thought to cause cancer (Science Digest, Dec
1963, p. 40). I haven't been following studies recently and
wonder if others might have information on trends in the spread
of AIDS.