does SIV cause AIDS in primates or have they developed resistance to the virus **
Unlike HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections in humans, SIV infections in their natural hosts appear in many cases to be non-pathogenic. Extensive studies in sooty mangabeys have established that SIVsmm infection does not cause any disease in these animals, despite high levels of circulating virus. However, if this virus infects an Asian or Indian rhesus macaque, the animal will develop simian AIDS (SAIDS). A recent study of SIVcpz in wild living chimpanzees suggests that infected chimpanzees experience an AIDS-like illness similar to HIV-1 infected humans. The later stages of SIV infection turn into SAIDS, much as HIV infection turns into AIDS.
Later in the article:
Beatrice Hahn of the University of Pennsylvania and a team of researchers in 2009 found that chimpanzees do die from simian AIDS in the wild and that the AIDS outbreak in Africa has contributed to the decline of chimpanzee populations. Testing wild chimpanzees, researchers detected organ and tissue damage similar to late-stage human AIDS. The infected chimpanzees had a 10 to 16 times greater risk of dying than uninfected ones; infected females were less likely to give birth, could pass the virus to their infants, and had a higher infant mortality rate than uninfected females.
A couple of key references:
Commentary on the above: Hayden, EK (2009) "Wild chimpanzees get AIDS-like illness" (DOI: 10.1038/news.2009.711)