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Has AIDS spread from the rhesus monkey?

Q: It is said that the AIDS virus has spread through rhesus monkeys. To what extent is this true or is this just a myth? How can a virus spread from a monkey to a man?

A:The poor rhesus monkey is not responsible for AIDS. The then President of an African country, Kenneth Kuanda, said "It is not important to know where AIDS came from but rather where it is going." Incidentally Kuanda's son died of AIDS. As to the other part of your question, many diseases can cross from animal hosts to humans. This was brought out in the recent epidemic of SARS. But don't blame the rhesus monkey, it is not even found in Africa!

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