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Microbiologist traces possible origin of AIDS epidemic to WWI soldier – New York Post

AIDS seemingly made the leap from chimpanzees to humans due to a ravenous World Warfare I soldier who was pressured to hunt the animals for meals, in response to a brand new e-book.

The unknown “Affected person Zero” was a part of an invasion pressure of 1,600 Belgian and French troops who, together with 4,000 African aides, had traveled from Leopoldville within the Belgian Congo to a distant outpost in Cameroon, says Canadian microbiologist Jacques Pepin, who as soon as labored as a bush physician in central Africa within the 1980s.

Pepin, a professor within the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Illnesses at Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec, makes the intriguing speculation the main focus of a brand new version of his famed e-book, “Origins of AIDS.”

“Affected person Zero” was seemingly injured after killing a subspecies of chimp — Pan troglodytes troglodytes — contaminated with a simian virus that was a precursor to HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus which causes AIDS, Pepin writes within the tome not too long ago printed by Cambridge College Press.

The Origins of Aids by Jacques Pepin, 2nd edition book
The Origins of Aids by Jacques Pepin, 2nd version e-book

In a 2011 version of the seminal e-book, Pepin initially posited HIV leapt from chimps to people after an injured African hunter killed one of many beasts in 1921, turning into contaminated within the course of. Pepin then chronicles how the virus’ unfold was fueled all through the world by colonization, prostitution, and “well-meaning” public well being campaigns which lacked what at the moment are frequent security protocols, corresponding to barring the sharing of needles.

Within the second version, launched this month, Pepin attracts on analysis in medical archives in Africa and Europe suggesting ‘Affected person Zero’ was not a local hunter, however as a substitute a ravenous World Warfare One soldier pressured to hunt chimps for meals when his regiment bought caught within the distant forest round Moloundou, Cameroon and ran out of meals provides.

Most books about AIDS start in 1981, when a gaggle of homosexual males within the US started to die after contracting a virulent pneumonia. Since then, HIV has gone on to kill 33 million and infect almost 76 million individuals all over the world.

“Some could say that understanding the previous is irrelevant,” writes Pepin within the introduction to the brand new version of his e-book. “We’ve an ethical obligation to the thousands and thousands of human beings who’ve died, or will die, from this an infection. Second, this tragedy was facilitated (and even brought about) by human interventions: colonization, urbanizations and doubtless well-intentioned public well being campaigns.”

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