4900 people die from HIV/AIDS on a daily basis. HIV and AIDS can effect anyone, of any race, age or sexuality. For an illness that is so talked about, it is hard to comprehend that it’s only been around since the 1980s. So how exactly did AIDS come about? Soon, I will explain to you a couple of different theories on how AIDS originated. According to the Williams Institute, there are roughly 9 million Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That’s about the population of New Jersey.
How many of you know someone who is gay? So most/all of you. And just as you probably know, they are just like everyone else. We all have the same necessities, we breath the same air and we’re deserving of the same rights. Now, imagine if our government created a disease to eliminate these very people that we encounter every day. This would be considered a genocide. No better than the nazis during the holocaust or the Hutus in the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi people.
Our government acting in such a way seems unfathomable. Throughout my speech I will touch upon what exactly AIDS is and the most commonly accepted theory on how it came to existence. Lastly, I’ll explain to you how the genocide I previously told you to imagine was actually attempted by the US government. What is AIDS? We’ve heard about it since we were old enough to learn about sex, maybe even before that, but many people couldn’t explain what exactly the illness called AIDS is.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is defined by the National Institute of Health as a disease, resulting from HIV, in which there is a severe loss of the body’s cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) destroys the white blood cells that are crucial to maintaining the function of the human immune system. This causes the infected person to be less equipped to fight off infection and disease. This ultimately leads to the development of AIDS.
People with AIDS experience a number of symptoms, some of the most prominent being: severe and frequent infections, rapid weight loss, frequent nausea & diarrhea, profound and unexplained fatigue, fever and night sweats, shortness in breath and confusion or change in personality. HIV and AIDS has only been in existence for just over 30 years. What could have caused such an illness to develop? Though there are many different theories accounting for the origin of AIDS, there is one in particular that is most commonly accepted: the scientific theory. It is known that AIDS develops from HIV and there are two types of HIV.
Each seem to be a descendant of a Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), which is also known as African Green Monkey virus. HIV-2 corresponds to a strain of the SIV, called SIVsm, found in the Sooty Mangabey (White-Collared Monkey). HIV-1 was more of a mystery to scientists, but in 1999, researchers discovered that HIV-1 is most closely related to a hybrid of one SIV that infected Red-Capped Mangabeys and another which infected Great Spot-Nosed Monkeys. Researchers figure these two SIVs combined when one type of chimp hunted and killed the two smaller species of monkeys.
These chimps transmitted this new disease (SIVcpz) to humans most likely the same way they became infected. The ‘hunter’ theory suggests that SIVcpz was transferred to humans as a result of killing and eating the chimps. SIVcpz adapted in the human to form HIV-1. Although the scientific theory of how HIV and AIDS originated seems credible, there is strong evidence pointing to opposing theories, as well. The most contended testimony on how AIDS originated revolves around the theory that the Government created AIDS to eliminate gays.
Doctor of medicine, Alan Cantwell, has published some of the most controversial research focusing on AIDS as a man-made disease. In one of his articles, he explains that the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1979 in Manhattan, NY. Not much longer after that were reports of the same disease discovered in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In june of 1981, the AIDS epidemic became official. Ironically, in 1978 and ’79 Wolf Szmuness, a polish immigrant and soviet-trained doctor, was hired by the government to conduct a Hepatitis-B vaccine experiment on gay men.
These experiments started at the New York Blood Center in Manhattan and were later conducted in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago beginning in 1980. Maybe it’s a coincidence that the US government awarded Szmuness, someone who had previously been interrogated by the Russian KGB, millions of dollars to run the experiment, but it seems far-fetched that it be coincidence for Szmuness to be concerned about possible contamination in the Hepatitis-B vaccine manufactured by Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
After the experiment, Szmuness even insisted that all thirteen thousand blood specimens donated by gay men be retained at the Blood Center for “future use”. These blood samples were tested several years later for the presence of HIV antibodies and epidemiologists were able to detect the introduction and spread of HIV into the gay community and ultimately, the world. When asked why he kept so many vials of blood, Szmuness said, “because one day another disease may erupt and we’ll need this material.
” So I will conclude my speech by asking you all, do you think that Szmuness just had an incredible hunch? Or did he know something about the Hepatitis-B experiments that has been kept from the world for over 30 years? With a better understanding of what AIDS is, it is easier to comprehend the different theories as to how AIDS came about and the significance of both the accepted theory and the conspiracy theory. With all that has been said, maybe we should reconsider the trust we put in our doctors and government.