The origin of HIV appears to have been traced to the 1920s in the city of Kinshasa, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to scientists.
An international team of scientists say sex and travel probably allowed HIV to spread. Viral archaeology was used to find the pandemic’s origin, and data reported in the journal ‘Science’.
The scientists used archived samples of HIV’s genetic code to trace its original source, and evidence points to this being 1920s Kinshasa. The report says a roaring sex trade, rapid population growth and un-sterilised needles used in health clinics probably spread the virus.
HIV is a virus that can lead to AIDS if untreated. Most people infected do not know they have the virus to begin with, as it can have very few or no symptoms early on. When detected early, HIV can be treated and people with infections are then expected to have a near-normal life expectancy.
HIV is more common in Africa, Asia and developing countries. It is also more common in men that have sex with men, drug-users and prostitutes. It is also seen in the heterosexual population.If you think you may have been at risk of being infected, we recommend you seek medical advice and a HIV test as soon as possible.
Our rapid HIV test has results return overnight and cost from £99.
We use the UK and European Professionally recommended tests.