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The origins of AIDS  Cover Image Book Book

The origins of AIDS / Jacques Pepin.


This account traces the origins and development of the most dramatic and destructive disease epidemic of modern times. Inspired by his own experiences working as an infectious diseases physician in Africa, the author looks back to the early twentieth-century events in Africa that triggered the emergence of HIV/AIDS and the subsequent evolution and transmission of the disease before it was first officially identified in 1981. He shows how the disease was first transmitted from chimpanzees to man to fuel the spread of the virus to the rest of Africa, the Caribbean and ultimately worldwide. The book focuses on the specific circumstances in Leopoldville, the capital of the Belgian Congo, where urbanization, the spread of prostitution, and medical interventions to control the incidence of tropical diseases interconnected to fuel the communication of HIV-1 in the 1960s, as the country struggled to adapt to its newfound independence. It is now thirty years since the discovery of AIDS but its origins continue to puzzle doctors and scientists. This is an essential new perspective on HIV/AIDS and on the lessons that must be learnt if we are to avoid provoking another pandemic in the future. With a synthesis of historical, political and medical elements, this book adds a coherent and necessary historical perspective to recent molecular studies of the chronology of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781107006638
  • ISBN: 1107006635
  • ISBN: 9780521186377
  • ISBN: 0521186374
  • Physical Description: xiv, 293 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 238-281) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Out of Africa -- The source -- The timing -- The cut hunter -- Societies in transition -- The oldest trade -- Injections and the transmission of viruses -- The legacies of colonial medicine I: French Equatorial Africa and Cameroun -- The legacies of colonial medicine II: the Belgian Congo -- The other human immunodeficiency viruses -- From the Congo to the Caribbean -- The blood trade -- The globalisation -- Assembling the puzzle -- Epilogue: Lessons learned.
Subject: HIV infections > Africa.
HIV infections > Etiology.
AIDS (Disease) > Africa.
Emerging infectious diseases > Africa.
HIV Infections > etiology > Africa.
HIV Infections > Africa > History.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome > Africa > History.
Communicable Diseases, Emerging > Africa > History.
Disease Vectors > Africa.
HIV-1 > pathogenicity > Africa.
History, 20th Century > Africa.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Additional Resources