Tracing HIV to its Origins

Colonialism in Africa Helped Launch the HIV Epidemic a Century Ago is a very well-written article by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin from the Washington Post. I must say, I do not like reading 3-4 paged articles online; however, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I could not stop reading it and I did not grow bored. This article documents how HIV began in a chimp, was transmitted to humans and then spread because of colonialism.

This article shows a negative aspect of colonialism, which I thoroughly enjoyed since colonialism seems to be heralded as a great achievement. In elementary/high school history classes, you touch upon the negative consequences of colonialism, but they are never really discussed. They are just a backdrop to the wonderful achievements of colonialism, like “manifest destiny,” “civilizing the uncivilized,” etc. However, colonialism had its effects- and not all of them were positive.

And tracing HIV to its origins during colonialism is one (of the many) negative effect(s).


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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