The Hot Zone

28. why is the Kinshasa Highway referred to as the AIDS highway

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In the final chapter of The Hot Zone, Richard Preston describes Kinshasa Highway as the “AIDS highway,” noting that the rapid spread of the AIDS virus was made possible through the paving of the once dirt road. No longer used by the occasional car, the road now “carried a continual flow of vehicles. The overlanders were mixed up with pickup trucks and vans jammed with people and the road reeked of diesel smoke” (383). Preston argues that if the road had never been paved to create a convenient travel route through the middle of Africa, the AIDS virus would not have been able to travel from town to town with such ease.