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David Lloyd-Jones david.lloyd-jones at canrem.com
Fri Mar 10 12:08:16 EST 1995

 dashley at TENET.EDU (Don Ashley) posts:

DA+There is thought today that deaths attributed to diseases such as
  +pneumonia in the past were successful because of loss of immunity (AIDS).
I just read a column by Andrew Nikiforik (author of *The Four
Horsemen*, a really excellent history of epidemic disease) in which he
comments that AIDS made the cross-over from monkeys to humans about a
hundred years ago.

Nikiforik is well-informed in the field, so this is probably the
Current Best Guess of the scientists doing the relevant work.

DA+Previously, AIDS was not given credit.  AIDS was around long before the
  +public knew about it.  In other words, w/o AIDS, certain victims of pneum
  +may have defended and survived.  News leakage of AIDS would surely have
  +elicited panic and hysteria.

Panic we have had aplenty: the pneumonia pandemic of 1919 killed more
American soldiers than did WWI.  On the other hand I doubt that there
was a lot of AIDS on those military camps in New Jersey where thousands

DA+Now $billions are being fronted for AIDS cure research.

I think there's a lot to be said for the idea that the best aging
research is likely to be something serendipitous out of the AIDS

Here in Toronto we're just building a super-secure viral epidemiology
unit.  One of the assumptions behind it is that AIDS is probably not
the only strange virus lurking out there.  Ebola, for instance, has
only stayed as small as it is because the virus so unwisely kills its
victims quickly -- before they can carry it very far.  An ebola with
the ten year latency of AIDS would be a virus with real legs.  Since we
have a steady trickle of immigration from India, China and Africa,
Canada is as likely a place as any for anything weird to show up in the
industrial world.

You guys in the States look after the Amazon, OK?


david.lloyd-jones at canrem.com

david.lloyd-jones at canrem.com

 * 1st 1.11 #3818 * A piano is a piano is a piano. -- Gertrude Steinway.

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