The Dean at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Brownsville is Dr. Joseph McCormick. He spoke on Monday about "The Origin of the HIV Epidemic." Dr. McCormick was involved in the early 1980's with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as part of their AIDS studies. After his involvement in the first African investigation in Kinshasa where they found that the number of partners highly correlated to AIDS. Also while in Africa, he discovered the long history of disease that had been in primates which he connects to the start of AIDS. Primates were hunted for meat and sold in bush meat markets. Dr. McCormick proposes that as humans hunted, cut, and handled monkey meat, a primate disease was passed to humans.
This infection still wouldn't create the HIV/AIDS that we have today. Due to the large diversity and different tribes, there was not much contact between groups. Urbanization in the 1980's created lifestyle changes that allowed for easy spread of HIV/AIDS. Multiple wars also hightened HIV/AIDS and allowed for the epidemic we have now.
Dr. Joe McCormick and his wife Dr. Sue Fisher-Hoch wrote the book "Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC" from there many experiences in Public Health. All of the interns here are reading the book and learning about all of the cool things these two have done.