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Antibodies to SIV were found in the victims' blood samples.
They also analyzed blood samples of nearly 400 monkeys and baboons to assess the degree to which their antibodies bind to HIV.
HIV-2 is more similar to SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) than is HIV-1 and it is much less virulent (usually not resulting in full blown epidemic sprung unannounced upon the world in the early eighties, the oldest verified case dates back to 1959 in Zaire.
A blood sample of an anonymous man was discovered in the archives of a Zairian (which was then called Congo) STD clinic in Kinshasa and analyzed in 1998 to establish this record.
Some variants can enter T cells but not macrophages and vice-versa. The B-clade is dominant in US, Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America.
Clades E and C are dominant in Asia and A, C, and D are dominant in Africa.
Both Korber's and Vandamme's analyses find that argument of origin to be a very low probability event, hence quite unlikely.
18% of the samples exhibited strong binding and another 14% showed less strong binding.
This result seems to indicate the possibility of further animal to human transmission!
p# is a protein of molecular weight # kilo Daltons. Cells that use DNA to replicate are relatively stable and do not mutate readily because the double strand DNA carries its own error-correcting mechanisms.
The gp120 connected to the gp41 stem is collectively called gp160 and it is this protein, together with other coreceptors, that must connect to the CD4 receptor of T cells. But, retroviruses go backward and they can mutate easily.