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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2000 Jan 1;16(1):5-8.

Origin of HIV type 1 in colonial French Equatorial Africa?

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Department of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego 92093, USA.


Sociocultural factors during the postcolonial period have been implicated as paramount in generating conditions that promoted both the origin and subsequent epidemic spread of HIV-1 in Africa. We suggest, however, that the origin of the disease may lie in the interaction between colonial practices (e.g., labor camps, nonsterile vaccination campaigns) and traditional bushmeat hunting in French Equatorial Africa. Both the epidemiology of HIV-2 and the colonial history of West Africa appear more complex, but similar conditions existed there and may have contributed to the origin of HIV-2. Focusing the search for the origins of HIV-1 and HIV-2 on this earlier time period may contribute to understanding the evolution of the HIV viruses and the dynamics of emerging diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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