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Viral Sex: the Nature of AIDS

by Goudsmit, Jaap A

  • ISBN: 9780195124965
  • ISBN10: 0195124960

Viral Sex: the Nature of AIDS

by Goudsmit, Jaap A

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 11/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780195124965
  • ISBN10: 0195124960
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Description: In Viral Sex, AIDS researcher Jaap Goudsmit illuminates the origins and nature of the world's most lethal epidemic. This fascinating "epidemiological whodunit, or...howdunit" (The Lancet), takes us on a journey from the African rainforest, to ancient Egypt, to pioneering research labs in the U.S. and Europe.

The concept of "viral sex", Goudsmit explains, is central to understanding the AIDS crisis. HIV not only produces offspring that are almost exact copies of the parents but also reproduces sexually, creating a recombinant population of variants. This "viral sex" gives HIV an edge in adapting to new hosts, enabling it to survive the leap from ape to man. Goudsmit argues that the man-made phenomenon of deforestation and human encroachment on the African monkey habitat provided the opportunity for the HIV virus to jump to its new host, human beings, who then brought HIV out of the Cameroon rainforest at the turn of the century.

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