Background to the AIDS Conspiracy
An epidemic that struck our nation in the 1980s was the AIDS epidemic. While HIV/AIDS it still a deadly disease worldwide, it is currently controlled better in America than other parts of the world, mainly Africa. While much of it can now be maintained and treated, it was a disease that took the United States by storm in the 1980s as it killed many Americans in a short time period. The HIV/AIDS scare of the 1980s and 1990s reached dramatic heights when several famous actors and musicians died from this disease. The picture to the right is of famous Hollywood actor Rock Hudson, who passed away from complication of the disease in October of 1985.
While AIDS occurred in a number of individuals, the most widely affected were the homosexual community and African-Americans. The United States Government has long proclaimed that the origins of AIDS were coming from primates in Africa in the 1930s. The support was that humans who interacted with these primates were passed this deadly virus. The AIDS virus could then be passed to other humans through sexual intercourse or some type of blood transfusion. While this is the common idea shared by most, there are others who have their own HIV conspiracy theories that are quite different from what most scientists have suggested and have a belief that aids is man made.
Common AIDS Conspiracy Theories
1. Created to Kill Africans
Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan ecologist who won the Nobel Peace Prize, was one of the most notable conspiracy theorists against the exact origins of the HIV/AIDS virus. Maathai along with other theorists believe that the CIA or another government entity had scientists create the virus to wipe out the African population. In an interview with Time Magazine Maathai was quoted as saying “I am sure people know where it came from or where did HIV originate, but I’m quite sure it did not come from monkeys”. Many “African AIDS theorists” believe that the disease was created to wipe out the African population so that the United States could eventually take over this part of the world.
2. Wipe Out Homosexuals
Besides Maathai, many other AIDS conspiracy theorists argued that the disease was created to rid the United States of homosexuals. These theorists argue that AIDS was created in a laboratory and was injected into a large number of gay males in the San Francisco and New York population, where it continued to spread among the gay population. These people believed that the disco era has brought a time where homosexuality was “out of control” and that AIDS was created to scare and extinct this crowd. If this is true, it worked well as the AIDS scare coincided with the end of the disco era, which was widely popular among homosexuals. The “AIDS man made” theorists usually take the stance when targeted at the American population.
3. Cure for the Rich
Another theory that was brought up that there has always been a cure for AIDS/HIV and that only the richest and wealthiest people can receive the treatment. This came about after Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced that he had contracted HIV in 1991 and retired from the NBA. As of this writing, Magic Johnson is still alive and well and he has been able to maintain HIV in a dormant state. Magic was seen much heavier than his playing days after retirement and many believe that he had the money and means for the HIV cure. Many people have speculated that Johnson may have found a magical cure in Kenya or gone through a witch doctor to rid him of the disease, but Johnson denies all these rumors. Johnson simply states that he takes a daily concoction of drugs that help keep the virus dormant in his body.
4. Nixon and the Special Virus Cancer Program
Another common AIDS conspiracy is that it was created as America was launching programs to help fight cancer during Richard Nixon’s presidency in the early 1970s. These theorists state that using a vaccine that was found in primates contained the “ancestor virus” of HIV. These viruses were tested in laboratories in the 1970s and were given to human subjects who were then infected with the toxic virus we know of as AIDS. Because of the timing of this right before AIDS was first discovered, this is a very popular HIV conspiracy that many people believed was covered up by our government.
5. God’s Will
One common conspiracy that was suggested mainly by religious leaders and their followers was that HIV/AIDS was God’s punishment against homosexuals. The late Jerry Falwell, a well know televangelist from the 1980s was one of the leaders of these schools of thought. Falwell used the Bible as his main argument that God does not tolerate homosexuality and that AIDS was “God’s punishment” to homosexuals and the societies that tolerate them. Among the AIDS conspiracy theories that have been researched, this one is the most far-fetched as it shows no medical evidence other than a “religious” belief system.
6. A Druggie’s Disease
In 1996 University of Cal Berkeley professor proclaimed that HIV is harmless and that AIDS goes hand in hand with recreational drug use. This theory was also taken as a stance by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who later backtracked and said that most cases of AIDS were caused by poverty, poor nourishment and overall bad health. He felt that the elimination of poverty in Africa would dramatically decrease the number of AIDS deaths.
As one of the most deadly epidemics of the last 30 years, the HIV conspiracy has arguments for various ways that the disease started. Most often when people ask an average person “Where did HIV originate?” the typical answer is from primates. These theories above are what the others think about this disease.