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The historical question of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the 1960s in the Congo River basin area in relation to cryptococcal meningitis

, : The historical question of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the 1960s in the Congo River basin area in relation to cryptococcal meningitis. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 58(3): 273-276

Rapidly fatal cryptococcal meningitis has existed in central Africa for more than 30 years, mainly in the lower area of the Congo River basin. Cases have been reported in that area since 1953, especially among young patients during the 1950s. People with AIDS in central Africa also often have cryptococcosis, and it is possible that earlier clinical reports of encephalitis were actually fatal cases of AIDS in young Africans. Before the advent of AIDS in Europe, fatal cases of infection with Cryptococcus neoformans resembling acute meningitis were rare and nonexistent in young adults. The available evidence suggests that HIV may have originated in central Africa, where it had long remained in a specific, but unknown and overlooked habitat. Cryptococcosis infection, cryptococcosis in the Congo River basin, the historical presence of HIV, and HIV in Haiti and among Haitians are discussed.


PMID: 9546402

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