HIV Origin

Have they decided on a probable source of the original HIV virus? Is it even possible to determine? Could eating infected monkeys really have been the source? How often do virii cross species anyway? And do they know how the flu pandemics of the early 1900’s were started?

Probably not.
Probably not.
Don’t know. Probably because they’re constantly mutating.
Flus are nothing new. It might have started in the US and spread to Europe as the result of WW I. From there, everyone shared, and took the misery back home. Now, as to why it was so deadly—what I seem to recall was it came down to three things: 1) lack of vaccines, 2)lack of antibiotics to fight secondary infections, and 3) we don’t know.

Interesting plural of virus. I’ve always seen it as viruses.

The last I remember reading (don’t forget now, I’m in my dotage and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be and never was very good), the African primates have a very similar disease, which they call, appropriately enough, SIV: simian immunodeficiency virus. It is believe that HIV (note that if you use HIV, you don’t add “virus,” because you’ll then be saying virus twice)is a mutation from the SIV. It certainly could not be got from eating an ape. How it could’ve spread to homo sapiens I don’t know, unless some very strange sex was going on. I don’t know if anyone really knows. Perhaps some blood from an ape, but the ape’s virus would have had to mutate somewhere. Perhaps in Man, when it was at first harmless.

Actually, the most widely accepted theory of the origin of AIDS seems to be that “the virus could have been transferred to humans while sooty mangabeys [a type of African monkey] or chimpanzees were butchered for food or kept as pets.”