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AIDS in Africa: distinguishing fact and fiction

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The data widely purporting to show the existence and heterosexual transmission in Africa of a new syndrome caused by a retrovirus which induces immune deficiency are critically evaluated. It is concluded that both acquired immune deficiency (AID) and the symptoms and diseases which constitute the clinical syndrome (S) are of long standing in Africa, affect both sexes equally and are caused directly and indirectly by factors other than human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Seropositivity to HIV in Africans usually represents no more than cross-reactivity caused by an abundance of antibodies induced by the numerous infectious and parasitic diseases which are endemic in Africa. The apparently high prevalence of ‘AIDS’ and ‘HIV’ seropositives is therefore not surprising and is not proof of heterosexual transmission of either HIV or AIDS.

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Additional information

E. Papadopulos-Eleopulos is with the Department of Medical Physics, The Royal Perth Hospital, Perth 6000, Western Australia, Australia; V.F. Turner is with the Department of Emergency Medicine, The Royal Perth Hospital, Perth 6000, Western Australia, Australia, J.M. Papadimitriou is with the Department of Pathology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. H. Bialy is with Bio/Technology, 65 Becker St, New York, NY 10012, USA.

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Papadopulos-Eleopulos, E., Turner, V.F., Papadimitriou, J.M. et al. AIDS in Africa: distinguishing fact and fiction. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 11, 135–143 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00704634

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Key words

  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Africa
  • heterosexual transmission
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • seropositivity