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Flinn Foundation

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AIDS virus lineage much older than previously thought

Tags: genomics, infectious disease, university of arizona

[Source; UA News] - An ancestor of HIV that infects monkeys is thousands of years older than previously thought, suggesting that HIV, which causes AIDS, is not likely to stop killing humans anytime soon, finds a study by University of Arizona and Tulane University researchers.

The simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, is at least 32,000 to 75,000 years old, and likely much older, according to a genetic analysis of unique SIV strains found in monkeys on Bioko Island, a former peninsula that separated from mainland Africa after the Ice Age more than 10,000 years ago. The research, which appears in the Sept. 17 issue of the journal Science, calls into question previous DNA sequencing data that estimated the virus' age at only a few hundred years.

For more information: AIDS Virus Lineage Much Older Than Previously Thought