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April 1, 1983

Do these primates have AIDS?

JAMA. 1983;249(13):1696-1697. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330370010004

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Both a condition resembling acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans and an unusual number of certain malignant neoplasms have occurred spontaneously in two primate colonies on opposite coasts of the United States. While the relationship between what some are calling simian AIDS and the human disease is unknown, it's possible that a primate model for human AIDS soon may be available.

The outbreaks occurred in several macaque monkey species at both the New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass, and the California Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis. The primary species affected were cyclopis monkeys (Macaca cyclopis) at the New England center and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at the California center. Most of the monkeys were being raised for future research purposes. The investigators discounted any effects of treatments on those currently being used in research protocols.

"In recent years it became apparent that there were