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Reply #44: I spent the summer of 1978 as a volunteer in Central African Empire [View All]

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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 11:53 AM
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44. I spent the summer of 1978 as a volunteer in Central African Empire
Its a landlocked country on the equator just north of Zaire. I lived in the jungle forest with Americans who had been in the region for decades as missionaries, and they told me that the tribe had been dying off for over 20 years- the population had decreased by something like 70%. They suspected a sexually transmitted disease, but were unaware of any fatal STDS. The infant mortality rate was 40% and few people lived to the age of 50. People have sex with many partners and there is no such thing as 'protection'. The native people eat wild game, including chimpanzees, when they have the chance.

There were so many diseases there and the level of health care available was so low it would have been pretty hard for something like AIDS to stand out. But as soon as I heard about AIDS and the possible origins in Central Africa, it all made sense.
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