It is unbelievable that in the 21st century The Star (6th January 2010) can publish an article whose author, Jeremy Laurence purports that “HIV is thought to have crossed from chimpanzees to humans in West Africa in the last century and more than 25 million people worldwide have since died from it”. The story that HIV originated from any primate (monkey, chimpanzee, baboon in Africa) is baseless and has long been declared scientifically untenable.
When the virus first made headlines in the early 1980’s, it was claimed that it originated from green monkeys. This is what came to be known as monkey business in a book titled Aids, Africa and Racism by Richard Chirimuuta and Rosalind Chirimuuta, first published in 1987. Secondly, on viruses and other pathogens “jumping species”, Laurence and the faceless people he is bidding for, are obfuscating the issue of genetic engineering that has been spawning dangerous recombinant viruses like Simian virus 40 (SV 40) which was engineered in 1972 by a group of scientists.
Is Laurence aware that it is possible that an animinal virus that was harmless to humans can be adapted to infect humans? That is what Laurence and his handlers refer to as “jumping species”. Can Laurence concede that it is also impossible to predict the outbreak of diseases unless one has unleashed disease-causing pathogens on the public?
Laurence writes that “Aids was not identified in humans until young gay men began dying of mysterious illnesses in San Francisco in the early 1980’s”. Laurence is not aware that the outbreak of many diseases has been associated with vaccination campaigns. In 1978 there was Hepatitis B vaccination campaigns conducted on gay men in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York which were followed by the outbreak of “mysterious illnesses” Laurence referrers to. These gay men didn’t suffer from Aids; they suffered from Hepatitis which is inflammation of the liver caused by virus types A and B.
In the middle section of Africa between 1968 and 1972, there were vaccination campaigns conducted by the World Health Organisation which were followed by the outbreak of Aids, readers can refer to a front-page article in the London Times of the 11th May 1987. The Star should give us (Africans) a chance to tell our own story about Aids.
By Sam Ditshego