Despite assertions that AIDS is a government conspiracy (recently by Rev. Jeremiah Wright) a new study released in the journal Nature yesterday, pinpoints the origin of the disease 100 years ago. The new finding shifts the origination back in time from the previous estimation of 1930. Though the 100 year finding isn't a huge shift, researchers say, "It means the virus was circulating under our radar even longer than we knew." It wasn't widely recognized by US public health officials until 1981.
Scientists say that HIV morphed from a chimpanzee virus, likely in southeast Cameroon, jumping to humans probably in the butchering process. Tellingly, the new "birthdate" of the disease coincides with the rise of cities in Africa, a proximity of humankind that allowed infected people to pass it along. This study used 100 modern samples to create a family tree, traceable back to the samples' last common ancestor.