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The AIDS ConspiracyScience Fights Back$
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Nicoli Nattrass

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149136

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149136.001.0001

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AIDS Origin Conspiracy Theories in the United States and South Africa

AIDS Origin Conspiracy Theories in the United States and South Africa

(p.11) 2 AIDS Origin Conspiracy Theories in the United States and South Africa
The AIDS Conspiracy

Nicoli Nattrass

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the origin and prevalence of conspiracy theories about AIDS. It particularly examines Soviet–East German propaganda that HIV is a U.S. bioweapon, as well as early counter-narrative that HIV was injected into the African population by vaccination programs. The propaganda of East German and Soviet Union started in 1983 after the pro-Soviet New Delhi newspaper, The Patriot, accused the U.S. army of manufacturing the AIDS virus in its bacteriological laboratory. The report claims that U.S. scientists used genetic technology to combine the sheep leukemia virus with the human leukemia virus to create the AIDS-causing pathogen. Meanwhile, belief that AIDS was deliberately manufactured to eliminate black people propagated in South Africa as early as 1990. The New York Times poll found that 16 percent of black people believed that HIV was injected to them in a form of vaccine.

Keywords:   conspiracy theories, AIDS, HIV, Soviet Union, East German, South Africa, black people, bioweapon, vaccine

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