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Randy Shilts' theory that AIDS came to the US during the bicentennial celebration the summer of 1976.

Was reading some stuff about Shilts, and he claimed that sailors from aroud the globe who gatherered in NYC that summer brought AIDS here. His theory was based on anecdotal evidence. I think it's an interesting theory and not implausible. Do you guys, especially those of you who were of age when the first cases were diagnosed, have an opinion of Shilt's theory? Thanks.

by Anonymousreply 28401/17/2015

It's certainly plausible, given the timeline. I don't really think we'll know the definitive truth about how AIDS started and exactly how it spread.

by Anonymousreply 101/07/2013

In the absence of data, it's an intriguing idea. However, the evidence based on DNA sequence suggests that HIV came to the US around 1969. 1976 is probably outside of the range.

by Anonymousreply 301/07/2013

There was only that one case in 1969 (teenage hustler in St. Louis) and then nothing. I would assume that there was research done on unexplained deaths before 1979 and nothing was found.

The bicentennial celebration theory, while basically a literary device, is still plausible.

by Anonymousreply 501/07/2013

What about patient 0 the Canadian steward?

by Anonymousreply 601/07/2013

Randy's book was brilliant but I think he was using the 1976 Bicentennial as a journalistic hook to hang his facts on. It's a good one.

But it's a hypothetical.

by Anonymousreply 701/07/2013

r6 - he died in 1984. And for the record, Shilts did not say that Dugas brought AIDS to the US.

by Anonymousreply 801/07/2013

The 1969 date for HIV arriving in the US is based on how fast DNA of the virus accumulates changes (evolution) and the degree of difference between strains. It's the best scientific evidence we have.

HIV was around in Africa long before then.

by Anonymousreply 901/07/2013

Gaetan (rhymes with Satan) Dugas. Patient Zero. "Someone gave this to me." Ugh.

by Anonymousreply 1101/07/2013

If the incubation period between HIV and full blown AIDS is 5-10 years, the bicentennial theory makes some sense. Guys started getting ill in clusters in 1981.

by Anonymousreply 1201/07/2013

The prevailing theory is that HIV was introduced to the US a few times (see the Robert R case in 1969) before it took hold and spread.

The incubation period from infection to full-blown AIDS was about 10 years from the start. People started dying en masse in 1981/82. So it follows that the first widespread infections happened in the early '70s.

The Bicentennial was a too-elegant literary device for Shilts, as was Patient Zero. Both wrong.

by Anonymousreply 1401/07/2013

I believe there was an English sailor who had all of the symptoms in the 1950's.

by Anonymousreply 1501/07/2013

My personal theory was the airline deregulation act may have contributed to the spread because for the first time, air travel that was once out of the price range for most people suddenly became affordable. It was especially true for the fare on long distance, international flights. The act was signed in 1978.

by Anonymousreply 1601/07/2013

When the airlines allow male flight attendants?

by Anonymousreply 1701/07/2013

Norwegian, r15.

I can't remember the date.

BTW, I'm reading the Origins of AIDS right now. The author is claiming it spread in Africa due to reusing syringes and prostitution, coupled with political upheaval.

by Anonymousreply 1801/07/2013

David Carr was the English sailor who died of pneumonia/immune deficiency in 1959. But it's unclear whether he died of HIV, or his preserved tissue was contaminated in the lab with a later HIV strain.

Regardless, it's been established that HIV-1 was being spread in Africa in the '60s.

by Anonymousreply 1901/07/2013

r16, if that's true, that is the saddest example of the law of unintended consequences.

by Anonymousreply 2001/07/2013

There were two sailors.

Arvid Noe was the Norwegian soldier who died in 1976. Probably infected by an African prostitute a decade earlier. His wife and child also died. Tissue from all three tested HIV+ in the '80s.

by Anonymousreply 2101/07/2013

The incubation period can be anywhere from 8 months to who knows how long.

by Anonymousreply 2201/07/2013

1969 is uncomfortably close to the Woodstock music festival...

by Anonymousreply 2301/07/2013

8 months, r22? I've never heard that short a time frame before. I know that people with already weakened immune systems, such as IV drug users, tend to progress to AIDS sooner than other, but 8 months sound a little too soon.

by Anonymousreply 2401/07/2013

What year were the gay New York bath-houses at their raunchiest swing? 1980 looked pretty wild in "Cruising."

by Anonymousreply 2601/07/2013

[quote]8 months sound a little too soon.

If I recall the book correctly, the sick people who got the virus from blood transfusions got sick(er) rather quickly.

by Anonymousreply 2701/07/2013

Think of the cases of transfusion AIDS. It took about a year in some people. I'm sure there's a curve, with 8 months being at the very low end. But if we say 1976 is a starting date and people started showing up around 1979 with symptoms, then the theory could work.

by Anonymousreply 2901/07/2013

Um, I'm in the gay community and his reporting holds up.

by Anonymousreply 3201/07/2013

r30 I think you're in denial or at least too afraid to face the reality of what gay culture in the '70s. This was post-Stonewall and it was a decade of gay sexual revolution.

by Anonymousreply 3301/07/2013

I always wondered why Shilts said little about the Gay Olympics (mid-82) as while it wasn't as big in general numbers as the bicentennial, it did bring a relatively huge concentration of Gay men from all over the world at a time when many were still debating transmission routes.

I was there -- it was a huge and glorious fuck-fest, with early GRID activists left alone in their with their pamphlets and warnings pretty much ignored.

It was the same a year later in 1983 at Christopher Street West in LA -- the poor doctor huddled in his booth pretty much ignored as were those manning the Gay Scientist booth with much of the same information while all the boys were running off together.

by Anonymousreply 3501/07/2013

Gorillas don't eat monkeys; Orangutans are only found in Borneo.

by Anonymousreply 3601/07/2013

There were cases among Portuguese soldiers who had been deployed in Guinea Bissau in the mid-70's.

by Anonymousreply 3801/07/2013

R34 the vag does not tear as easily as the anus. It's a blood borne disease. At that time anal was not as popular with the hets.

by Anonymousreply 3901/07/2013

[quote]Why did it explode so virulently in the gay community and not really in the straight world? Many hets were as sexually promiscuous as gay men during the 70s, so certainly you'd think they were just as susceptible. Total fluke/luck of the draw?

Not a fluke. It's science.

Anal sex is a more efficient mode of transmission than vaginal sex. Almost all anal sex causes tears and bleeding, enabling semen to go directly into the bloodstream. Vaginal tissue is more resilient, and heterosexual men don't experience the pooling of fluid that causes easy infection.

by Anonymousreply 4001/07/2013

Even though the death toll was high didn't you all think it would be much greater? I thought it was going to be the bubonic plague of it's time killing a large percentage of the population and causing a societal collapse. Though it was a slow start I think science, medicine, and the government did a pretty good job in containing it. At least if you compare it to what it could have been.

by Anonymousreply 4101/07/2013

[quote]Now it's there. Patient Zero has been debunked.

Actually, no. Shilts accurately described Dugas as ".. Patient Zero of AIDS, because he was linked directly or indirectly with 40 of the first 248 reported cases of AIDS in the U.S." I believe someone at the CDC actually started that. He was linked to clusters in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

[quote]The Bicentennial-ships theory is not considered scientifically reputable. It's probably impossible to pinpoint HIV's spread in the US with that kind of granularity anyway — there was so much travel and free love happening for the entire decade.

Again, no one knows, but it is plausible. It probably came earlier in several places. But it's also likely that it was a great time to have it spread.

by Anonymousreply 4301/07/2013

I'm not an expert, but a friend who's a biostatistician and who worked for the Harvard Center for AIDS research explained once to me mathematical (statistical) reasons why viruses tend to spread and kill their host organisms more quickly during the early stages of an epidemic such as AIDS but it's been a while so I only have a vague recollection of that explanation.

by Anonymousreply 4401/07/2013

R34 Actually, the Haitian community was hit really bad in the early years and that was spread from mostly heterosexual contact. Apparently the town in the US with the highest per capita HIV and AIDs cases is a town in Florida that is primarily composed of Haitian immigrants.

I think two things may have contributed to the spread in the gay community. First, lets face it, gay men have more sexual partners than your average straight person, but the pool for prospective partners is much, much smaller. Back in my bar hoping days, even in NYC, I would often see the same faces at different bars as the years went by. Second, drug abuse was as it still is, a big problem in the gay community. Abusing drugs lowers one immunity hence making one more susceptible.

by Anonymousreply 4501/07/2013

I don't think we'll ever know but here are some more stats:

Four of the earliest known instances of HIV infection are as follows:

1.A plasma sample taken in 1959 from an adult male living in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2.A lymph node sample taken in 1960 from an adult female, also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

3.HIV found in tissue samples from an American teenager who died in St. Louis in 1969.

4.HIV found in tissue samples from a Norwegian sailor who died around 1976.

by Anonymousreply 4601/07/2013

R44 viruses mutate, their earliest strains are the most virulent.

by Anonymousreply 4801/07/2013

[quote]Shilts' speculation is exactly that. Nothing in his so-called reporting would be considered a peer reviewed scientific study.

His reporting is fine -- and he never presented his speculation as anything but that. He never pretended to be a scientist.

by Anonymousreply 4901/07/2013

r49, further to that point, even scientists qualify their statements.

Dr. Pepin (Origins of AIDS) is very careful about clearly stating theories as speculative, even as he says he uses them to shape his hypotheses about AIDS' origin.

by Anonymousreply 5101/08/2013

An AIDS timeline, from its origins in 1930s Africa to now:

by Anonymousreply 5201/08/2013

[quote]At the time of the study it was not known that the average length of time between initial infection and AIDS is ten years.

That statistic is an average and not reliable. As stated earlier, a lot of these guys partied...a lot. Weakened immune systems. They could easily started getting sick within a year or two of infection.

by Anonymousreply 5301/08/2013

Wasn't Haiti one of the earliest gay tourist destinations?

by Anonymousreply 5401/08/2013

R54, Haiti was THE tourist destination for gay men for decades. The poor, young men rented themselves out.

Much like you have UK white women going over to Cuba and Jamaica i.e "milk bottles."

by Anonymousreply 5601/08/2013

Well, the cases came out of NYC so it's possible.

by Anonymousreply 5701/08/2013

I think r54 was implying that some US gay men got it when they visited Haiti and brought it back with them. One of many probable ways it was introduced in the US.

by Anonymousreply 5901/08/2013

Ebola isn't even CLOSE to AIDS. On the other hand Ebola and Marburg are virtually indistinguishable. In fact the only way to be sure is to test for antibodies.

Marburg produces one kind of antibodies and Ebola produces another kind.

Marburg was first brought over from Africa in the 1960s in monkeys to labs in Germany and Yugoslavia.

Marburg and Ebola are not even closely related to HIV.

by Anonymousreply 6901/08/2013

[quote]Why did it explode so virulently in the gay community and not really in the straight world? Many hets were as sexually promiscuous as gay men during the 70s

Please. Nobody on the planet has ever been as promiscuous as gay men in the 70s. There may have been an infinitessimally small percentage of the straight population that had sex with multiple partners in a day. I knew gay men who had sex with four or five people on multiple days per week, for years and years.

Even today, I've seen stats showing that if gay men just halved the number of sex partners they have each year, AIDS would basically be stopped in its tracks.

by Anonymousreply 7001/08/2013

I wonder how the hets who lived for Plato's Retreat fared?

by Anonymousreply 7101/08/2013

I know the Degas connection is probably speculation at best, but just to ponder the idea that your average flight attendant with no agenda harm anyone was responsible for millions of ill and dead people worldwide is tough to wrap one's mind around. It's almost inconceivable.

by Anonymousreply 7601/08/2013

[quote]"Patient Zero has been debunked" How has it been "debunked?"

Read R50 again.

by Anonymousreply 8001/08/2013

Degas' behavior helped illustrate how the virus was being passed over distance, and as noted above, he was the "zero" in many clusters, but the general public had taken that to mean he brought the virus to the US, whereas Shilts, on his very first page, says it could have been the Bicentennial.

With so many of the early victims being sailors who had been to Africa, MDs who had been to Africa, and laborers who had been to Africa, taking sailors as a likely cause for many of the early cases is not far fetched.

by Anonymousreply 8101/08/2013

r82 - I don't understand your post. You quote "Shilts, on his very first page, says it could have been the Bicentennial." and then state that "correlation is not causality." Very true, but that's a non sequitur.

His account is a very accurate chronicle of what was happening during those six years. The reporting of the politics of federal agencies, cities, the gay community etc was contemporaneous and spot on.

What theories stated in the book are not credible? You are correct that there is a lot of ignorance in this thread, but it's not from them book.

by Anonymousreply 8701/08/2013

[quote]The CDC did not dub him Patient Zero. They called him Patient O, as in "Out of California."

No. It's Patient 0, as in "zero". If you're reading the wiki article, that's a zero, not an "O".

by Anonymousreply 8801/08/2013

AIDS is spreading among heterosexuals in Africa for several reasons, including:

Ritual female circumcision and genital injury, which causes a direct route for semen into the bloodstream, and exposes their partners to blood;

The fact that most men are uncircumcised. Foreskin is relatively fragile tissue that allows for fluid absorption during intercourse, and also traps fluid afterward;

Untreated STDs, which create genital injury and more pathways for disease transmission;

More exposure to blood in general, from the sharing of razors to tribal rites that involve blood.

by Anonymousreply 9201/08/2013

Where do any epidemics come from? Where did smallpox originate? What about typhus? Cholera? We know how they are spread. We know hygiene has something to do with some disease. We know some diseases are more prevalent in certain parts of the world. Do we know where they started?

Who cares?

As long as you know what the disease is, how it is spread, how to avoid spreading it and what may possibly treat it, you're good. What difference does it make if it escaped from a monkey population? They used to think influenza came fom the alignment of the stars. Then they thought it came from swine. Now they say it comes from birds. What are we going to do, kill all the birds? Kill all the monkeys, all the cows, all the Haitians, all the sailors, all the gays, all the prostitutes, all the carriers of hemophilia and hepatitis?

by Anonymousreply 9501/08/2013

All the dentists?

by Anonymousreply 9701/08/2013

"Foreskin is relatively fragile tissue that allows for fluid absorption during intercourse, and also traps fluid afterward"

R82 is correct. Also, foreskin has extra glands - some of which make the infamous lubricant (the greatest component of the odor and taste we all love) and others which have extra white blood cells and other immunological agents (Langerhans cells). The latter facilitates infection, since HIV co-opts the immune system.

by Anonymousreply 10301/08/2013

Whatever happened to the doctor who Matthew Modine played in the movie?

by Anonymousreply 10401/08/2013

Whatever became of ebola? Did it come and go? For a while there we were terrorized with news reports of Africans bleeding from their eyeballs.

Did it just stop, mutate, or is it being ignored?

by Anonymousreply 10801/08/2013

If Aids is spread easily through female genital mutilation, which I believe is true, than how come Arab Muslim women are not dying of Aids en masse?

I know they mostly die of breast cancer due to they're wearing burkas and not getting any sunlight on their bodies (no vitamin D) but they are subject to torn vaginal tissue like African women as well.

by Anonymousreply 11201/08/2013

Arab (Muslim) men are almost always circumcised, R112. Perhaps that had something to do with the lower rates for Arab women, as opposed to Sub-Sarahan women.

by Anonymousreply 11301/08/2013

Gorillas don't eat monkeys, but chimpanzees hunt and eat monkeys, and chimps and other primates are routinely hunted and eaten by humans. And, not to be racist about it, since cannibalism does happen occasionally throughout various human populations, but sub-Saharan Africa is sort of known for it.

by Anonymousreply 11401/08/2013

"Cruising" was sort of revolutionary in that it (along with the more mainstream Village People) promoted the mainstream image of gay men as handsome, physically powerful, and unashamed of their sexuality. It exchanged the stereotype of the furtive, effeminate ectomorph with the guy in the leather cap and handlebar mustache. Whether or not that was an improvement I don't know.

by Anonymousreply 11701/08/2013

Sorry about the childish epithet posted by a bigoted tool. I WAS talking about obsolete cultural stereotypes, though, not my own personal convictions, SHEESH.

by Anonymousreply 11901/08/2013

Does anyone know what percent of the gay population in NYC in the 80s died of AIDS?

by Anonymousreply 12001/08/2013

Rabies is almost always fatal. There have been less than ten cases in the entire history of the world where someone got it and didn't die. And of those they all survived with massive amounts of brain problems afterwards.

by Anonymousreply 12401/08/2013

Wasn't there some gossip being bandied about while Lansing was head of Fox that she was so cheap she stole toilet paper rolls from ladies restrooms?

by Anonymousreply 12901/08/2013

I remember someone referring to AIDS as WOGS - Wrath of the Gods.

by Anonymousreply 13001/08/2013

Was Lansing the beginning of the end for the Fox legacy of finer film or did she ever give us some real gems?

by Anonymousreply 13101/08/2013

I remember Sherry Lansing having no toilet paper in her stall and I myself, had to wipe my ass with a ten dollar bill. Upon announcing my fate, Sherry asked if I could change a ten with two fives.

by Anonymousreply 13201/08/2013

All the early cases have been debunked as laboratory contamination or other diseases involving reduced immunity - except for the Norwegian sailor and his wife. He actually first got sick in 1964. The first death that seemed to be related to the general outbreak was of a Danish lesbian NGO worker in the Congo in 1977. There were instances of mass death from wasting diseases affecting humans such as at a Congo chimp research station in 1957, but there were no recorded mass outbreaks in central Africa before the mass outbreak of HIV in New York City beginning in 1978 after the Hepatitis B vaccine trials, which were then rolled out to six other cities. Indeed, it appears that South Africa, not Central Africa, was the primary disease vector in Africa. It was also in Southern Africa that the Haitian and Cuban mercenaries probably picked it up.

In the Hep B trial, the cohort were to be sexually active gay men ONLY. The program was run by Polish Jew who had been interred in a Soviet gulag and was received help defecting from the Polish cardinal who later became pope. How he got to be head of the New York City blood bank in just a few years has never really been explained. He died of cancer in 1982, but he had already been given a festive welcome back in the Soviet Union, an honor not otherwise accorded to recent defectors in the Brezhnev era.

Computer modelling of HIV's variability, to try to take in back to the 1930s or earlier is not science but fantasy.

The irreducible fact is that in 1969 the US government asked for $10 million to create a virus attacking the immune system, and they were given the money. They estimated it could be up and running in 10 years. I don't know why there is such a hysterical need on this board to pretend that this isn't the likeliest explanation for what happened (or that it was done by an enemy of the U.S. working on their own program). You all just seem kind of dumb.

by Anonymousreply 13301/08/2013

Cheryl is now stealing from Tallulah.

by Anonymousreply 13401/08/2013

R133: The federal government is incapable of keeping anything secret.

by Anonymousreply 13501/08/2013

r106 that is untrue.

Even professionals who are proponents of a relatively recent origin, i.e., spillover/mutation from SIVcpz to humans acknowledge that upheaval and colonial rule make it impossible to be definitive.

Even with phylogenetics, there are still huge gaps in the record.

by Anonymousreply 13601/08/2013

R133 If you understood anything about biology and science, you would understand how stupid the "goverment created AIDS" meme is.

by Anonymousreply 13801/08/2013

R139 Really? Name some. Seriously. Lets hear what "secrets" the government kept for years.

by Anonymousreply 14001/08/2013

Can someone define "secrets" to r140 ? Please?

by Anonymousreply 14301/08/2013

If you look at it like a statistics/math problem, the idea of pinpointing exactly when the epidemic arrived on US soil is absurd.

Some of the sexually active gay men in the mid to late 1970s who ended up with AIDS, had thousands of sex partners. Thousands. Some of them were internationally well traveled. So, sure it could have started on US soil via the Bicentennial sailors convention. Or it could have been some gay guy named Francois or Dave or Miguel or Vanos or whatever, who brought it here 1:1 from wherever he got it from, and then he barebacked 200 men in the following year and 20 of them seroconverted, and those 20 men barebacked a total of 2000 men in the following year and 200 of them seroconverted, and they barebacked 20000 men in the following year and 2000 of them seroconverted.

by Anonymousreply 14601/08/2013

Are you all implying intent or just a major fuck up in the NYC Hep B vaccine situation? It sure seems like rounding up sexually active gay men to harvest blood products for vaccines could certainly have introduced HIV into the distribution, but I get the impression that some want to say it was either added or somehow introduced to the gay men.

I'd say that was absurd except for the introduction of LSD to unknowing victims that we know happened in the sixties.

by Anonymousreply 14901/08/2013

Still waiting to hear about all these secrets the government has been keeping from us. So far the only thing that has been presented are links to one article that clearly say there is no proof to back up the claim.

by Anonymousreply 15001/08/2013

So if the development of AIDS is a government conspiracy, why haven't whistleblowers come forward? Why isn't it an item in the article at R158?

Tens of thousands of military, researchers and government officials would know about such a program over the years. Many of them would have loved ones who were unintentionally killed by a manmade virus gone awry, or would have other reasons to be disgruntled with the government. Not one of them leaked the story to the press?

I don't buy it.

by Anonymousreply 16001/08/2013

I'll say it again. A virus can change and mutate itself. People who put their theories out there need to be aware of this fact. Nobody is to blame. Nobody is out to exterminate a group of people.


by Anonymousreply 16401/08/2013

What R164 said.

And: If the military were planning to develop AIDS as a secret to be known only by "three people in a lab," military officials would not have TESTIFIED BEFORE CONGRESS about the plan and seeking funding for it, getting their comments published in the Congressional Record:

by Anonymousreply 16601/08/2013

Right R164. Do you remember when Zappa went on about AIDS being curated in a lab by the government? Like people don't know gays have slept with straight people especially back in the day. So tired of celebs and other people taking a platform to speak about such things. Any first year med student KNOWS a virus can change and mutate itself. There's no conspiracy theories regarding AIDS. People forget that straight people have relatives and friends who are gay. People blabbing on about gays have a gay ancestor down the line somewhere. Everyone is a product of a homosexual at some point. Everyone has an ancestor who was raised by a non-biological parent at some point. This reminds me of people who judge those who were adopted. At some point, in the last couple of hundred years they're from someone who was adopted. Just ignore these delusional people. They're holding us all back. Let's march on without them.

by Anonymousreply 16801/08/2013

[quote] A virus in a lab can be disseminated by about three people.

Not really. It's a hell of a lot harder to start a lethal epidemic than you think. Ask the Japanese who repeatedly bombed china with various plagues in WWII. Altogether only about 200,000 died and this included people who were directly killed by handing out poison candy, by water supplies that were deliberately contaminated, poisoned wells, agriculture sprayed with poison and bacteria and viruses; cities that were bombed with plague, smallpox, anthrax, botulism, cholera, dysentery. Contaminated clothing and food supplies were dropped throughout the countryside. Contaminated grenades were also use.

200,000 isn't a large number of Chinese for all the trouble the Japanese went to. We killed more Japanese in two bombing raids than Japan killed in China through countless attempts to sicken and poison the population from the air, ground and the water.

Take some epidemiology courses in college. When you look into real epidemics, you will see how so many factors are involved in creating an epidemic and how unpredictable things are.

by Anonymousreply 16901/08/2013

Whatever. After receiving the live hep b vax developed on gay men from the village in the late 70s/early 80s, I have neither Hep B nor HIV.

by Anonymousreply 17001/08/2013

[quote] But at no period in history have we seen a comparable cascade of new viruses.

Is that really so surprising? The life expectancy is longer than ever in history. We are no longer killed by natural predators (wolves, grizzly bears, malaria carrying mosquitos...) and we no longer die from stepping on rusty nails, blood infections from bad dental hygiene, famine, etc. Cancers are diagnosed earlier and many of them are treatable, as is heart disease. No population can increase beyond sustainable levels; we are due for some major epidemic.

by Anonymousreply 17501/08/2013

[quote]But at no period in history have we seen a comparable cascade of new viruses.

For most of history we didn't even know virus existed. That's like saying the moons of Jupiter aren't real because for most of our history we never saw them.

by Anonymousreply 17601/08/2013


by Anonymousreply 17701/09/2013

So I guess Shilts is alluding to gay men starting to get sick from 1977 onward.. It would be interesting to verify this with people who were in NYC, SF, LA then. Were people coming down with mysterious ailments and illnesses around '77 - 80?

by Anonymousreply 18104/24/2014

R181, see R13.

by Anonymousreply 18204/24/2014

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 18304/24/2014

Why all the nit picking against Shilts and his book?

by Anonymousreply 18404/26/2014

1976, while not a reliable date for when the virus entered, is a good indicator of when the virus gained a reasonable and irreversable foothold. The best piece of evidence regarding virus spread is found in the samples takes for a hep b study. Later analysis of the samples showed that in 79 10% of the participants were already harbouring the virus.

It is to be noted, that 10 year disease progression is an average. 10% of people develop aids after less than 5 years after infection. In the context of very few cases being reported before 81 and exponentially more afterwards, 1976 would appear plausible for virus establishment. But it is unrealistic to link it to any one event.

by Anonymousreply 18705/18/2014

*Continuing I am half way through in reading Shilts's book and I think he is pretty unassuming. He never describes Patient 0 as the man to bring HIV to the States. Patient 0 is significant because he is at the center of the cluster study, connecting all AIDS sufferers.

The 1976 Bicentennial is described more as a possible gateway than a definite one. And there is an element of truth in linking it to the onset of HIV, since undoubtedly, it does show a way the virus could have traveled, as does the Patient 0 case.

by Anonymousreply 18805/18/2014

He talked about the Bicentennial, but said nothing about 1982 and the first Gay Games (disallowed from being called "The Gay Olympics" by the efforts of the USOC and the Kennedy Family's "Special Olympics) where no one was being careful...

by Anonymousreply 18905/18/2014

A friend of mine is in Israel now and will be flying home soon to the US. I've been reading about the MERS virus and the quarantines at the US airports. Since I was around during the early AIDS crisis, this scenario is giving me the creeps. My gut reaction is to stay away from my friend once he gets here until I know he's not sick.

by Anonymousreply 19205/18/2014

Did Arvid Noe sleep with African prostitutes?

by Anonymousreply 19305/18/2014

AIDS has existed for millennia in Africa. Air travel caused it to spread, first to Haiti in 1959, and then into the United States in 1969.

THe 1969 patient-zero infected two friends, then THEY infected two friends...

by Anonymousreply 19505/18/2014

Nonsense R195. Complete ignorance of how the world works.

by Anonymousreply 19605/18/2014

HIV latency period habitually overstated in the American press.

by Anonymousreply 19705/18/2014

[quote]He talked about the Bicentennial, but said nothing about 1982 and the first Gay Games (disallowed from being called "The Gay Olympics" by the efforts of the USOC and the Kennedy Family's "Special Olympics) where no one was being careful...


AIDS was a1ready spreading throughout the US well before 1982.

WTF are you talking about???

by Anonymousreply 19805/18/2014

Incubation period 1-6 months.

Progression to AIDS can take years but there would be symptoms.

by Anonymousreply 19905/18/2014

I'd like to see some debunking of the pre-1978 AIDS cases. I don't generally subscribe to conspiracy theories, so I tend to believe HIV predated the vaccine program and was not created in a lab. But I'm open to evidence.

by Anonymousreply 20005/18/2014

R192, I did not know about the quarantines at the airports.

I know that the pilgrimage to Mecca is about to happen soon--will there be huge quarantines for people coming home to their countries?

by Anonymousreply 20105/18/2014

[post redacted because thinks that links to their ridiculous rag are a bad thing. Somebody might want to tell them how the internet works. Or not. We don't really care. They do suck though. Our advice is that you should not click on the link and whatever you do, don't read their truly terrible articles.]

by Anonymousreply 20205/18/2014

Both Dr. Grethe Rask, the Danish lesbian who died in 1977, and RObert Rayford, the black St. Louis teenager who died in 1969, tested NEGATIVE for HIV on the ELISA test. It is only later tests some of which tested positive, others negative, after biowar theories originated, giving people a vested interest in finding early cases. There is only one other case, the family of a Norwegian sailor who died in 1976.

You can see how highly implausible it is that Robert R. who never traveled outside St. Louis, would be the only case appearing in the USA from 1976 to 1979, and that only two other examples would be found in Europe - one of them a LESBIAN, surely the lowest risk population in the world.

The whole notion that HIV predates 1978 is based on these cases. The whole justification for taking the mutation rate and assuming it happens at a constant rate going back in time is based on acceptance of these cases. And yet we know from the Manchester sailor how easily the results are corrupted.

by Anonymousreply 20405/18/2014

R192: I have not heard nor read of any US airport quarantines, so please provide links or direct us to credible sites to read that for ourselves.

I don't think your friend arriving from Israel would have anything to worry about - MERS has so far been identified as originating in Saudi Arabia & SA & Israel do not have direct air contacts (or ANY contacts) between them. Not likely a person would go to both countries & even less likely they'd come into contact with MERS.

by Anonymousreply 20605/18/2014

So what is going to happen to all of the Muslims coming back from Mecca?

Will they be tested for MERS, or quarantined at the airports.?

I've not heard a word about this, but I have heard that scientists are very worried about the more mild case of MERS and how that could easily spread into the population unnoticed, and it being a direct cousin of SARS.

by Anonymousreply 20705/18/2014

Grethe Rask died of AIDS.

Rayford, I'm a little dubious. It's possible there were other cases of AIDS back then that we just don't know about and the strain was less virulent, but it's a stretch.

by Anonymousreply 20805/18/2014

I think AIDS has been around for centuries after having mutated many, many times.

I think it spread through Europe at one point as one of many unknown plagues.

by Anonymousreply 21005/18/2014

Did you read the link I posted? Or the Shilts book? Why are assuming the only way to contract HIV/AIDS is via sex. Her sexual orientation is irrelevant.

She was a DOCTOR and a SURGEON. She was in frequent contact with blood in the country where, to the best of our knowledge, HIV started.

by Anonymousreply 21205/18/2014

In 1990, Robert R.'s blood was tested using more sophisticated techniques and found not to have HIV as quoted by L. Garrett, "The Coming Plague" and reported in Horowitz's book "Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola, Nature, Accident, or Intentional?" copyright 1996-1997. This is subsequent to the 1987 test mentioned in Wikipedia.

by Anonymousreply 21305/18/2014

Except that's not true. There is no evidence whatever linking Zaire to the start of HIV.

by Anonymousreply 21405/18/2014

Hold on, I need to run out and get more foil.

by Anonymousreply 21605/18/2014

Nor is there any evidence from Cameroon, where the French were in charge of public health when HIV would have "broken out" and they did mount campaigns against sleeping sickness and malaria.

by Anonymousreply 21705/18/2014

The Belgians in Leopoldville should have noticed something if HIV was a natural breakout. Why didn't they? Some people say it is found in blood samples from Leopoldville of that era, but why no deaths, no symptoms, no mystery? They conducted mass innoculation campaigns in Leopoldville. Public health was high on their agenda.

by Anonymousreply 21805/18/2014

Where were the Arvid Noe samples tested?

by Anonymousreply 21905/18/2014

r217 and r218, both those areas today have high rates of HIV infection. What is the incubation period between exposure and infection? Who can say for sure, but it is worthy of note that both areas did, indeed, become areas of high infection.

As for the Japanese method of introducing germ warfare, did the Japanese "vaccinate" large groups of people? Didn't think so. The Japanese methods were cruel, but crude and ineffective.

by Anonymousreply 22005/20/2014

I just think it unlikely thousands of people were dying in Cameroon and Kinshasa from 1910 to 1979 with collapsed immune systems and nobody noticed.

by Anonymousreply 22205/20/2014

The incubation period of HIV is 1 to 6 months. How soon its growth makes one sick is another matter that can take years, but the virus is measurable and growing after 1 to 6 months.

by Anonymousreply 22505/20/2014

Remember when AIDS fist started nobody knew. So they kept expanding the "latency" period and made ridiculous claims of 10 years from infection to illness. But we know the facts now, which is that after 1-6 months the virus can be measured. How soon symptoms appear depends on what chance diseases go your way and that can take years. But anybody checking your blood could see the virus.

by Anonymousreply 22605/20/2014

Medical note- Unless your immune system is already compromised at the time of potential exposure/infection by having undergone chemotherapy or an organ transplant, which then could take up to six months to show on a HIV test, the HIV virus is detectable on a test in the time period of one to three months. So, if you haven't had one of the above medical procedures, three months is the window period, not six months. And most people (>80%)who will test positive, will test positive within a month. A six month window period is, generally speaking, outdated medical information. Even three months is stretching it for most people.

by Anonymousreply 22805/20/2014

Am I the only one who thinks that Magic Johnson is just about the weirdest case of HIV?

First off, he claims he contracted the virus through heterosexual sex.

Secondly, he is not only heavier but healthier than ever.

What scam has Magic Johnson pulled on the world?

by Anonymousreply 22905/20/2014

But they would have recognized kaposi's sarcoma, would they not? Thrush? PCP?

by Anonymousreply 23305/20/2014

[quote]Gosh, I simply cannot imagine who thought it all up....

Who thought it all up? Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 23505/20/2014

There is no disease called AIDS. AIDS-deaths are really AIDS-related deaths. The point of the recent poster was that the diseases that caused deaths in early AIDS-related patients were rare and odd, such as Kaposi's sarcoma, and would have thrown up red flags when they were more common than one a year.

So it's not as stealthy a "bio-weapon" as you imagine.

by Anonymousreply 23605/20/2014

r236, early victims of HIV, esp. in Africa, surely were dying of other diseases their weakened bodies were unable to fight off due to the HIV infection. Who would have thought to look deeper for the cause of the deaths, or to the cause of an "epidemic" of some other disease.

by Anonymousreply 23805/20/2014

None of those say "...and introduce them into a hated population to exterminate them."

And as AIDS proved, and as anyone with half a brain would know, there would be no way to confine the disease to a particular group.

by Anonymousreply 23905/20/2014

So isolated that (from your theory) it quickly spread to Haitians, drug users, and heterosexuals.

by Anonymousreply 24105/20/2014

I was wondering what "work boy Gallo" could mean, R243.

by Anonymousreply 24405/20/2014

[quote]Seriously, were urban gay men really that much more promiscuous than their urban straight counterparts in the 70s?

On average, yes.

by Anonymousreply 24505/20/2014

Maybe Dr. Gallo could live with being thought a "scum-sucking glory-seeking weasel" if one of the alternate explanations was less flattering.

by Anonymousreply 24705/20/2014

So if the direction is not from Haiti to the US because American gay men had no connection to Haiti, how did AIDS get to Haiti? Or were the same people vaccinating them as well?

by Anonymousreply 24905/21/2014

R249, Are you kidding??!!

Haiti was a popular destination for gay men for decades. It was a top spot for chickenhawks exploiting poor gay Haitian men as sex partners.

Gay sex tourists took Aids to Haiti.

by Anonymousreply 25105/21/2014

The gay sex tourism was very popular in Haiti, almost to the degree that straight chicken hawks go to Thailand.

This is why the Carribean is so strongly homophobic. They have seen gay older men come and go, picking up rough trade and spreading Aids for decades.

And just so you all don't accuse me of being bigoted, straight women from Canada and the UK are picking up these men now in their version of sex tourism.

Either way, the islanders lose.

by Anonymousreply 25205/21/2014

Aids is a mutated virus that has been around for hundreds of years. It was likely one of the many plagues that swept through Europe and/or Asia.

Only now, it is transmitted through anal sex mostly, or what's called dry sex in Africa.

It is spread through these practices which is why it is very difficult for a heterosexual man to contract HIV from vaginal intercourse. Still, after all of these years, straight men do not contract HIV at the rate of others, and lesbians are the least at risk.

Aids is not some conspiracy nor was it created in a lab by a mad scientist to kill of gays, Africans, or hemophiliacs.

Genital circumcision is at the root of the transmission Africa.

Anal sex is at the root of transmission in the west.

Dirty needles is at the root of transmission among the addicted.

There is no conspiracy.

by Anonymousreply 25405/21/2014

Was Haiti really a popular sex destination for gay men? The Caribbean is generally homophobic and Haiti is so poor and corrupt. Also not every gay man is into black men

Not saying it's not true, I just never heard that one before.

by Anonymousreply 25605/21/2014

[quote]It was likely one of the many plagues that swept through Europe and/or Asia.


Enough baseless speculation, queens. You're not Jonas fucking Salk for chrissakes.

by Anonymousreply 25705/21/2014

I've never heard of it before either, R256. Thailand, yes. Haiti, never. And I'm old and have only lived it big cities.

by Anonymousreply 25805/21/2014

Hi R256,

Yes, just as Morocco was a sex trade hotspot for gay men, Haiti was as well.

We're talking wealthy gay/straight men who essentially keep these pedophile rings secret.

And when Aids became public they all jumped ship like the rats that they are and moved on to another location.

by Anonymousreply 25905/21/2014

Straight pedophiles: Tahiti, Philippines, Thailand, Brazil.

Gay pedophiles: Morocco, Haiti (past), Tahiti, Philippines, Mexico.

God help the poor children of this world.

by Anonymousreply 26005/21/2014

I have been researching Aids for many years now and I firmly believe that the only conspiracy involved is one that involves pedophile rings.

These rings are made of Western men who travel to island nations or poor countries.

This coverup have morphed in to the false notion that Aids can be easily spread through vaginal/penile sex, and that anyone can easily contract HIV.

Not true.

This falsehood has been spread to alleviate the guilt of the pedophiles who have engaged in sex tourism and brought the virus back and forth, starting in the 1950's.

by Anonymousreply 26305/21/2014

Because you never heard about tit doesn't mean it isn't so. Haiti is so poor, t makes the most desperate housing project or hillbilly trailer park look like Beverly Hills. Port au Prince was and is teeming with beautiful glistening ebony boys and young men who would do anything in order to eat and survive. And as a poster stated earlier, Pap has now become the destination of choice for Canadian and British women looking for a How Stella Got Her Groove Back experience. And Morocco was 20 times worse. Malcolm Forbes didn't build his palace there for nothing. His home was positively dripping in beautiful young brown boys. I was there for his infamous birthday bash, and if any of the guests didn't previously know of his predilection before the party, they certainly learned of it then.

by Anonymousreply 26505/21/2014

Anyway, the natural theory does not finger Haiti but KINSHASA (Leopoldville under the Belgians) and ultimately Cameroon and suggests it arrived as long ago as 1910 and I'm just not buying it because it would have been obvious long before it got to New York.

by Anonymousreply 26705/23/2014

r267, HIV may not have been detected earlier. Those dying in Africa surely did not have access to the medical detection, research and treatment a patient in the West may have had access to in the 1950s or 1960s or earlier in the 20th century under colonialism. The HIV virus would have made those infected very susceptible to God only knows what disease. If they are dying from another disease that they had contracted due to a weakened immune system, who would think to look further for a disease such as HIV,esp. if HIV had not been discovered yet. They had not discovered HIV or AIDS yet! The media at that time surely would not have cared one iota about deaths from such a disease in Africa or among Gays or IV drug users in the West. The very fact HIV took off as it did in the areas and among the populations that it did in Africa and USA that had "immunizations" and "research" is very suspicious, very telling. It all fits together too perfectly, esp. post WW2 with the Cold War and the loss of Colonies, and the various covert operations during that era that were meant to destabilize and disrupt.

by Anonymousreply 26805/29/2014

Just bought and re-read ATBPO on my Kindle.

It was the 20th anniversary issue and I thought it might include an update (obviously, not by Shilts) of all that has happened in the last 20 years.

DOH. No such luck. Most interested in updates on the scientists, politicians and (few) gay men still alive at the end of the original. I believe Enno died, Kiko and Larry are still alive.

Devastating to re-read how the epidemic was ignored and allowed to happen. Particularly in contrast to Legionaires Disease, toxic shock syndrome and the Tylenol poisonings, which had much more money and resources thrown at them MUCH SOONER and with FAR fewer CASUALITIES.

It's only gay men, indeed .....fuckers.

Props to the few scientists who tried to light a fire early on ....and to the gay men who picked up the ball and led the battle.

by Anonymousreply 26909/26/2014

R268. Belgians governed the Congo and were very proud of their medical services. You seem to forget that the natural theory posits a break out under European colonialism, not in a poor desperate African society with no access to modern medicine.

by Anonymousreply 27009/26/2014

No doubt there were sailors who came here who were infected and likely they had sex while they were here and infected others. But I'm not at all convinced they were the first to bring hiv to the U.S..

by Anonymousreply 27109/26/2014

Heads up, And The Band Played On movie is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

by Anonymousreply 27210/07/2014

R38 Guinea-Bissau declared independence from Portugal in 1974 and threw the Portuguese out. So it is earlier than the mid 1970's.

by Anonymousreply 27310/07/2014

[quote] Did Arvid Noe sleep with African prostitutes?

He did. He was a sailor as a teenager and he spent time in Africa. He was treated for an STD(I think it was gonorrhea) during that time peroid and other men who worked with him confirmed that he had slept with prostitutes. After he returned to Norway and married and had kids, he worked as a truck driver and he traveled to other European countries. According to people who knew him, he slept with prostitutes in those countries. There are theories that some AIDS cases in Europe were linked back to him.

I have also wondered if any AIDS cases in Canada were ever linked to Gaetan Dugas? I know he was connected to clusters in L.A., SF, and NYC. I remember somewhere that he had a home in Los Angeles for awhile in the late 70s.

by Anonymousreply 27401/15/2015

Re: Haiti as a gay sex-tourist destination. I never knew so many gay men were into the ebony. You'd never be able to tell from Grindr, Scruff, ads etc. these days.. (i.e. white/latino only)

by Anonymousreply 27501/15/2015

I have my own theory about the spread of AIDS: The orange juice boycott enabled it. Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, which is good for your immune system. So a lot of gay men who were boycotting orange juice because Anita Bryant shilled for it were not getting that vitamin C.

by Anonymousreply 27601/15/2015

Invented in a lab, deliberately spread to gays in 1978.

Enough with the Dark Continent and sex trade fantasies.

by Anonymousreply 27701/15/2015

Shilts' claim was not a "theory" but a "Wild Ass Guess"

by Anonymousreply 27801/15/2015

R4 = Sam Kinison

by Anonymousreply 27901/15/2015

I know some people who knew Dugas, and they said he was a lovely unassuming man. I also have a hard time demonizing him, although Shilts had no such trouble, nor did his publishing house, which placed "The Man Who Brought AIDS To America" ads in journals and such, with Dugas's picture. It was just so disingenuous, Shilts said in interviews at the time that he knew the publisher was going to do it even though it was incorrect.

John Grayson's musical movie "Zero Patience" has a much better take on Dugas. Michael Callen plays Miss HIV who points out that without Dugas's cooperation, epidemiologists may have taken a much longer time to make a definitive correlation between sexual behavior and the spread of what would come to be called HIV.

by Anonymousreply 28001/15/2015

Everyone who says that HIV had a 5-10 year incubation period is wrong back in the early 80s is wrong. Try a year or less. That's what was being said at the time. And interestingly, that would indicate that HIV was relatively brand new as new viruses kill very fast. After a virus as been around a while it will evolve to become less lethal and produce a longer incubation period, such as current HIV.

by Anonymousreply 28101/15/2015

Shilts was a republican and you know how that fucks with people.

But we all loved seeing that video of Dugas at the 1983 Vancouver AIDS meeting. Definitely not a monster.

by Anonymousreply 28201/15/2015

[quote]Everyone who says that HIV had a 5-10 year incubation period is wrong back in the early 80s is wrong.

Based on?

It varies from person to person. Age, general health and how it was acquired all play a part in how long it takes for AIDS to develop.

by Anonymousreply 28301/15/2015

Gaetan Dugas wasn't that good looking.

by Anonymousreply 28401/17/2015
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