Human Immunodeficiency Virus? One of nature's greatest evolutionary machines

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Transmission of an HIV-like virus from chimpanzees to humans approximately 80 years ago triggered the worldwide AIDS pandemic. Possessing very high mutation and recombination rates, the descendants of this ancestral virus have evolved greatly. Most of this evolution has been in response to selective pressures imposed by human immune responses and has not provided HIV with any significant new biological characteristics. The continuing diversification of HIV variants is a principal obstruction to controlling the virus with drugs and vaccines.