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HIV/AIDS, Geography of

  • By: Ezekiel Kalipeni
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, was first identified by scientists in 1983. Since then, the geographic origins of the virus have been hotly debated in the scholarly and secular communities. Recent studies by genetic scientists have indicated that HIV-1, the more virulent form of the virus that causes AIDS, can be traced to a closely related strain of virus, called simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), that infects a subspecies of chimpanzees in Central Africa. It also happens that people in this region hunt chimpanzees for bush meat, leading scientists to believe that the virus may have passed from the blood of chimpanzees into humans through superficial wounds. Indeed, many believe that the virus has been prevalent among humans ...

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