AIDS Epidemic In Jacques Pepin's The Origin Of AIDS

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The book, The Origin of AIDS, by Jacques Pepin unveiled a new perspective on the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. I really appreciated Pepin’s scientific background as an infectious disease physician, and an epidemiologist. This background allowed for me see how a medical professional of his expertise would look at the situation as a whole. A couple tactics I was not fond of, however, was the trivial information Pepin’s included throughout his book. This information did not give a deeper meaning to anything and pretty much seemed as if it took up space. Despite this, the book overall had three topics I found to be the most interesting to me. These three topics were Pepin’s discussion about how the AIDS epidemic started, how AIDS spread through …show more content…
One example of this is when Pepin was saying how human like chimpanzees are due to their intelligence, and ability to not solely be driven by instincts. This is displayed in the text when Pepin said “this marked individualization and their ability to laugh are what make chimpanzees most like humans. Rather than reacting predictably and instinctively to a given situation chimpanzees show intelligence and spirit and experience all kinds of emotions,” (18). Although I do not discredit the fact that chimpanzees are intelligent, I would not go so far as to humanize them. After all, they are still animals. I do see the point he is going to make eventually, though, which is to shift the topic from are chimpanzees so civil or are humans so primal. Interestingly enough, Pepin then goes on to further humanize by describing them with a word that generally is for humans that have an unhealthy number of sexual partners. However, he does not end there, but he then shows how primal chimpanzees are by depicting their instinctive side. In the book, Pepin says “Chimpanzees are promiscuous, and most of their sexual activity takes place when the adult female is in heat and her vulva swells, which attracts the males, who copulate with her quickly, one after the other,” (21). I found this to be the most amusing because after humanizing them for a couple of pages he then dehumanizes humans by showing how chimpanzees will typically throw away their intelligence to have sex at whim. Then to add to the barbarism he then says multiple male monkeys will have sex with the same female monkey and vice versa. However, he did not finish there, but then added that the behavior of the monkeys is what allows for sexually transmitted infections to spread like wild fire upon that whole population of monkeys. All of these things combined made it impossible to refute the

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