The AIDS epidemic, first discovered in the United States in 1981, has caused a great deal of speculation with regard to the origins of both the HIV-1 retrovirus and the early pathways for the epidemic itself. The African origins theory is the most widely accepted origin theory for HIV-1 in the West. This theory is based upon six assertions, all of which either lack evidence or, when evidence has been present, these assertions have been contradicted. The African origins theory is unsubstantiated. The African origins theory is based not upon scientific logic but rather upon victim-blaming, the attempt to define “the other” as the cause of disease, and racism.

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