The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

by Edward Hooper

Book cover for The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

While science has devoted much of its efforts to finding a cure for AIDS, the sources of this deadly epidemic remain largely unexamined. Distinguished science journalist Edward Hooper presents the meticulously researched -- and highly readable -- history of HIV and its possible origins. Pursuing leads across the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa, Hooper pieces together the tantalizing clues offered by long-archived blood samples, early AIDS-like cases (such as the "Manchester sailor" case of 1959), immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), and the medical interventions in Africa and elsewhere that may have played a role in SIVs' crossover into humans.Hooper examines over two dozen theories of origin, and eventually discards most of them. What remains is a remarkable and well-supported theory for the sudden appearance of AIDS, and the definitive story of its lethal spread. Drawing on more than 4,000 sources and 600 interviews, The River is a thorough and provocative investigation into the most terrible epidemic of the twentieth century.

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