Geography Answers Mystery About HIV Spread in Africa

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A team of scientists has used geography to unravel the mystery as to why “two subtypes of HIV-1 — the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS — held steady at relatively low levels for more than 50 years in west central Africa before erupting as an epidemic in east Africa in the 1970s.” (Via All Points Blog)

Essentially, the explanation for the HIV explosion — obscured until now — involves the relative ease with which people can travel from city to city in east Africa as opposed to the difficulties faced by people living in the population centers of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the point where HIV emerged from west central Africa in its spread to the east.

Read more: Scientists join forces to explain HIV spread in Central and East Africa