Saturday, November 5, 2016
H.I.V. Arrived in the U.S. long Before ‘Patient Zero’
In the tortuous mythology of the AIDS epidemic, one legend never seems to die: Patient Zero, a.k.a. Gaétan Dugas, a globe-trotting, sexually insatiable French Canadian flight attendant who supposedly picked up H.I.V. in Haiti or Africa and spread it to dozens, even hundreds, of men before his death in 1984.
But now a new genomic study has shown that HIV traveled to New York City from the Caribbean in 1971, clearing the name of the man mistakenly dubbed “Patient Zero.”