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The Most Probable Past, Present, and Future of the AIDS Pandemic...

The origin of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a sensitive issue. The African origin of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) is not disputed. Also, not disputed is that SIV is the ancestral virus of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV probably “jumped” from simian hosts to humans many decades or Centuries ago somewhere in Central Africa. During the 1970s, an increasing number of HIV infected persons began to travel out of Africa. Thousands of Haitians who were contract workers in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the 1960s and 1970s began returning during the early 1970s to Haiti and some probably returned infected with HIV. In addition, there were during the 1970s reports of medical missionaries and some Africans in several European countries who sought treatment for what may have been AIDS. Increasingly during the 1960s and 1970s, “sparks” of HIV infected persons traveled out of Africa to Europe and North America and perhaps to most other global regions. These “sparks” did not result in any epidemic spread and were thus, self limited and remained silent and unrecognized. When such sparks were introduced to gay bathhouses and/or IDU shooting galleries during the 1970s, explosive HIV epidemics ensued. HIV introduction and subsequent transmission probably occurred in Haiti, North America and Western Europe, by the early to mid-1970s. The Haitian HIV/AIDS connection to Africa is not widely known. All who may be interested in this connection should access the oral history of AIDS website where NIH and CDC researchers recalled “in their own words” the early investigations of AIDS - http://aidshistory.nih.gov/home.html .

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