During evolution, organs and limbs not used generally atrophy and disappear. Since the introduction of antibiotics about fifty years ago, our immune system has been under-utilized. Even vaccination with a mild level of disease does not stress the system. Some diseases have been reduced to a point that vaccines are no longer administered. So our immune system has atrophied.
[quoteright]AIDS, though virulent, is a very weak virus. Only in recent years has it expressed itself to the level of identification. I suspect that AIDS has been around for a very long time — recall the numerous deaths from respiratory diseases. The fact is that we no longer have a system strong enough to control it, especially in those whose dietary habits and lifestyle discourage disease resistance. I am sure genetics are influential in this matter.
This may explain antibodies in those exposed to the virus, but whose immune system was strong enough to suppress the virus's activity. It stays suppressed until such time as the immune system is further weakened, allowing the virus to attack and destroy its mortal enemy — the immune system itself.
There may be other such viruses, lurking and waiting for further degeneration of our immune system. Obviously they are weak, or they would have expressed themselves; however they may turn out to be more deadly than AIDS.
Perhaps it is about time we cease living such a sanitized existence and again invite some of our childhood diseases. Or maybe we should start a program of vaccination and re-vaccination against all known diseases, to again stress and strengthen our immune system.
Persons with AIDS antibodies, but not the active disease, could start a series of annual injections of all available vaccines, thereby hoping to strengthen their immune systems before the virus got loose from its corral.
In Lima, Peru, during an outbreak of typhus, the infection rate among Anglos is twenty times higher than among Peruvians. Anglos with typhoid shots do better, but don't reverse the ratio.
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