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This over-exposure to bushmeat and malpractice of butchery increased blood-to-blood contact, which then increased the probability of transmission.
A recent serological survey showed that human infections by SIV are not rare in Central Africa: the percentage of people showing seroreactivity to antigens—evidence of current or past SIV infection—was 2.3% among the general population of Cameroon, 7.8% in villages where bushmeat is hunted or used, and 17.1% in the most exposed people of these villages.
Groups C and D have been found in two people from Liberia, groups E and F have been discovered in two people from Sierra Leone, and groups G and H have been detected in two people from the Ivory Coast.
These HIV-2 strains are probably dead-end infections, and each of them is most closely related to SIVsmm strains from sooty mangabeys living in the same country where the human infection was found.
Scientists generally accept that the known strains (or groups) of HIV-1 are most closely related to the simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) endemic in wild ape populations of West Central African forests.
In particular, each of the known HIV-1 strains is either closely related to the SIV that infects the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes (SIVcpz) or closely related to the SIV that infects western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), called SIVgor.
AIDS is caused by a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which was originated in non-human primates in Central and West Africa.
Thus, this region is presumably where the virus was first transmitted from chimpanzees to humans.
How the SIV virus would have transformed into HIV after infection of the hunter or bushmeat handler from the ape/monkey is still a matter of debate, although natural selection would favor any viruses capable of adjusting so that they could infect and reproduce in the T cells of a human host.
A study published in 2009 also discussed that bushmeat in other parts of the world, such as Argentina, may be a possible location for where the disease originated.
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The primary point of entry, according to researchers, is somewhere in the jungles of Argentina or Brazil.