'Patient Zero' Wasn't Responsible For The US AIDS Epidemic; NYC Was
Using frozen blood samples, researchers tracked where and when the HIV/AIDS crisis became an American epidemic.By Ryan Biek | October 27, 2016
A new study shows that HIV and AIDS turned into an American epidemic by passing through New York City in the 1970s.
The research clears the name of Gaétan Dugas, a gay flight attendant who had HIV. When AIDS hysteria reached its height in the 1980s, he was dubbed "patient zero" and effectively blamed for the entire epidemic.
But Dugas' blood sample showed the strain of HIV he had started circulating throughout New York around 1971 — before he started visiting.