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HIV pandemic originated in Kinshasa around 1920, say scientists

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5967 (Published 03 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5967
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The current HIV pandemic almost certainly originated in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo around 1920, a new analysis has concluded.

The city’s transport links, particularly its railways, made Kinshasa one of the best connected of all central African cities and contributed to the spread of the virus, said a report published in Science.1 By the end of the 1940s over a million people were travelling through Kinshasa on these railways each year.

HIV is known …

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