Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
A study of African hunters has shown that a virus similar to HIV has passed from apes to humans from bushmeat of the kind that is being sold illegally in the UK.
A leading scientist has told the File On 4 programme that the virus was probably passed on to tribesmen via body fluids when the animals were slaughtered and butchered.
Assistant Professor Nathan Wolfe, who tested more than 1,000 hunters for Johns Hopkins University, US, found a retrovirus from the same family as HIV in a number of them.
This is most likely the mechanism by which HIV emerged into the human population
Nathan Wolfe, Johns Hopkins University
“This is the area of the world where HIV came from, and this is most likely the mechanism by which HIV emerged into the human population,” he said. Read more