Gene study clears ‘Patient Zero’ as cause of U.S. HIV epidemic

A giant red ribbon hangs from the North Portico of the White House to mark World AIDS Day, December 1, 2013, in Washington.  REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Genes taken from archived blood samples show the U.S. AIDS epidemic started in New York in the early 1970s, definitively debunking the long-held belief that the virus was spread in the early 1980s by a flight attendant who became vilified as “Patient Zero” for seeding the U.S. outbreak.

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