Conspiracy Theory, Part II–The AIDS Epidemic and Other Medical Speculations

“A.I.D.S.: America Isn’t Doing Shit!”

That statement comes from a graffito I spied scrawled on the outside wall of a building in Atlanta, Georgia, as I was passing by in a taxicab back in 1993. My first response was, ‘Ooh, shade! Ain’t that the truth?’ Well, the acronym is not so much appropriate today as it was during the early days of the epidemic, as great strides have been made for prevention and management. But for too long, “Silence = Death” was our country’s slogan. There are several published theories about why AIDS is here and how it came about. One of them I came across, which I find to be plausible, is that AIDS is part of the evolutionary battle between healthy and unhealthy human ecology.

“The virus is a symptom, not a cause. There are certain evolutionary forces which look blind or uncompassionate to us, and they really are as they affect individual innocent human beings. But as with earlier plagues in history, there is a ruthless evolutionary intelligence which has as its purpose the elimination of unhealthy or overindulgent human practices. The earth is going through one of its periodic cleansing upheavals, which in the past has led to the decimation of populations, and which has kept human occupancy at levels that the planet could support. There is nothing compassionate about this blind evolutionary intelligence, and we have every right to intervene against it and take matters into our own hands to alter it. But we will need to get very smart about the effects of what we do and how we behave as a species, if we hope to succeed against that intelligence.”

There is a certain irony in that theory in that, although it is the unrestrained and unconscious heterosexual breeding that got us into this planetary mess, it’s the queers that have been made to bear the major brunt of the pandemic. We homosexuals are not the ones responsible for overpopulation, but rather the contrary, and we are not really any more promiscuous than the average hetero. But, of course, we get blamed for the situation, like everything else. We still hear it said that AIDS is God’s punishment to those sinful, degenerate homosexuals. But there have been queers for all times, so why then, all of a sudden, did “God” decide to do something about it? And why would God use a virus to get rid of us, rather than just striking us down dead in our tracks? I believe there must be some human intervention involved.

But if AIDS is caused by a virus, as many still believe, the virus doesn’t know, or even care, who it is infecting. “Hey, Mort! What do you think of this guy?” “Well, he’s a goddamned homo!” “So then, let’s get him! How about that little cookie over there?” “Hey, that’s a baby! We can’t do anything to her! Come on, it’s those perverts that we’re after! Don’t you know a faggot when you see one?!” It seems to depend on specific behavior or their circumstances, not about who or what somebody is.

The previous account is the more idealistic explanation of the problem, I guess. This next is a more cynical approach. My earliest suspicions about the origins of this present AIDS crisis go back to 1981 during the first months of the epidemic. Maybe there is some degree of paranoia on my part, but I suspected then (and I still have not completely abandoned the idea) that it was none other than our trusting and incorruptible U.S. Government who introduced the AIDS-causing viruses into the Gay community. I mean, it had to have come from somewhere. It didn’t just happen. I can even tell you why and how I think they did it. So I admit that I do have a suspicious nature, but I’m sorry, I don’t put anything past our Government. I know that others have implied the same thing since, but they heard it from me first.

Just like about 40 years ago I suspected that the rise in breast cancer in women was linked to the taking of birth control pills. People I mentioned it to, of course, pooh-poohed my idea. So, one night the news comes on with the announcement that it has been discovered that there is a definite link between birth control pills and breast cancer! Duh! In this particular case, however, I am not suggesting that the Food and Drug Administration knew about the drug’s harmful effects beforehand. But then again, if there was a lot of money involved, I certainly wouldn’t swear that they did not know that anything was wrong with it.

Even so, it’s supposed to be their responsibility to know such things. Consider, too, that the decision-making men would be more concerned with personal profits than with the side effects it has on women, as they don’t take the pills, don’t get pregnant or have to worry about resultant breast cancer themselves, although as of late we have found that men, too, can and do get breast cancer. So, I guess nobody’s safe. It has also been determined now that talcum powder may be responsible for causing cervical and ovarian cancer in women, another non-concern for men.

I don’t know why the American public is so naïve and trusting when we already know about the Government’s history with political assassinations, suspicious aeronautical hoaxes and chemical and biological warfare experimentation. In the ‘50s they conducted potentially-dangerous atomic testing in Nevada and Utah without any apparent regard for public safety and the radiation fallout that would result.

During the same time and I suppose without the producer’s (Howard Hughes) knowledge or concern, a major movie for RKO Studios was filmed nearby (and downwind of) that testing site. The film is The Conqueror (1956), and it cannot be mere coincidence that 91 (that they know about) members of the cast and crew who worked on that production, all contracted terminal cancer in the following years after filming. Some of the victims include the director Dick Powell and stars Pedro Armendariz, William Conrad, Thomas Gomez, Susan Hayward, John Hoyt, Agnes Moorehead and John Wayne.

As far as I know, there never has been an admission of culpability from the Administration or any compensation to the families of the stricken. When the Defense Department (or whoever) eventually figured out that they were probably responsible, they didn’t even offer an “Oops, sorry, my bad!” The movie itself turned out to be a real stinker and has been deemed one of the “50 Worst Films of All Time.” Of course, we all have to die of something, but in this case, these great movie stars’ lives were cut short for nothing. Even Hughes himself was ashamed of the finished project and kept it under wraps for years. I finally got to see the film, and I agree with the popular assessment. It’s not very good. Stupid dialogue, bad acting, and “The Duke” is terribly miscast, portraying Genghis Khan like one of his western cowboys.

Those power brokers on Capitol Hill don’t care who we are or how important we may be to the world at large. They killed President Kennedy and his brother, Martin Luther King (troublemaker!), also a famous and hugely-popular movie star, Marilyn Monroe, and investigative reporter Dorothy Kilgallen, because of the Kennedys’ possible mob connections, and the women must have known too much about something and had to be silenced for it. Those people do not play! There is a substantiated rumor that it was our own CIA who orchestrated Nelson Mandela’s conviction and incarceration.

In the ’30s and without their knowledge or consent, the Powers-That-Be deliberately infected hundreds of poor, Southern blacks with syphilis in order to study the untreated effects of the disease. Decades before then during slavery times, I learned that surgeons would “practice” on the slave women, operating on them, without anesthesia, before they would attempt the same procedures on a white person.

During the Vietnam Conflict, they freely used the chemical defoliant Agent Orange on our own soldiers, knowing full well of its carcinogenic effects, due to contamination. Then they have the audacity to criticize and reprimand Syria for using chemical substances on their citizens. They probably got the idea from us. What hypocrites we are! There were other, similar experiments done on retarded persons as well, without their consent, of course.

If I may digress for just a bit, although this is related to what we’re talking about. Those who are old enough may remember the infamous Atlanta Child Murders. Between 1979 and 1981 the city of Atlanta, Ga. experienced a mysterious crime spree when the murdered bodies of at least 30 young boys and girls, all black, turned up at different times and places in the area. The fact that it was a whole year and after 14 bodies had been found before local law officials finally considered that the murders may somehow be related, says a whole lot in itself. After all, this is the South, and black youths disappear and turn up dead all the time, don’t they? What’s the big deal? What do you think the response would have been if even one white child came up missing or dead? But eventually, it did become a big deal when the victims’ families and concerned citizens wanted some kind of action done. Public pressure then forced the police at least to deliver a suspect for the murders. And you know that they have been known to pick someone, anyone, and then build a case against them.

So, one day Afro-American Wayne Williams conveniently just happened to be seen driving away from where the most recent boy had been found dead. “Hey, guys, how about him? Let’s make this boy our scapegoat.” And they did just that. Williams was arrested, charged with the murders of all the boys, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. There are many, however, including some of the parents of the victims, who have always believed in Williams’ innocence. There was no real evidence to tie him to the murders. It was either merely circumstantial or completely manufactured. Besides, what earthly reason would an intelligent, articulate black man have to annihilate others of his kind? That’s the kind of shit that white folks do, isn’t it, especially in the South?

Many suspected, I included, that members of the Ku Klux Klan were the ones responsible. There was definite evidence of lynching activity by the Klan during the time of the killings, so they are the most likely culprits, in my opinion. But of course, no action was done against them, because some of them are most likely the very ones who testified at the trial and served on the jury that convicted Williams. You know, “Make his black ass take the fall, and it’ll let us all off the hook.” White Southern justice prevails again.

The now-deceased comedian cum civil rights advocate, Dick Gregory, was also known as a major conspiracy theorist. I saw a TV interview with him a few years before he died, where he related some of his ideas and suspicions. The man was quite intelligent, and his theories, however implausible to some, have not actually been disproved. It goes to what you choose to believe or consider. Gregory seemed to think that there was more to this Atlanta case than any of us could have imagined. I will tell you what he said, and you can make up your own mind whether his assessment has any validity.

Let me briefly give you the T on interferons. They are a group of proteins that have the ability to “interfere” with viral replication by protecting cells from virus infections. They are used to treat such ailments as multiple scherosis, lymphoma, leukemia and hepatitis C. There is always some kind of chemical and medical research going on, and I wouldn’t swear that the AIDS virus was not on their testing agenda as well. Maybe they were looking for a backup plan to counteract what they were about to do. They always need humans on which to experiment. But where can they find these “guinea pigs”? Few are going to volunteer willingly, and it’s better that they be unaware, then they can’t protest, and they don’t have to be paid.

So, just as they had done with all the other clandestine experimentation, they used poor, uneducated black men who were incarcerated or otherwise confined somewhere where they had no control over their bodies. The procedure involved poking around the subject’s groin area and extracting tissue and fluids to obtain the interferon. But it was eventually realized that due to the fact that many of these men were drug addicts, mentally ill and/or elderly, they may not be getting normal, viable specimens. “We need a younger batch of human subjects whose bodies are free of drugs, illness and aging.”

What if the Klan are innocent of the Atlanta killings, and it’s our Government who is yet again the real culprits? They managed to continue their experiments, but on black American children this time, got someone else to blame it all on, another black man, and they come away from it without any suspicion. I don’t suppose that I need to tell you why they chose to experiment on black boys rather than white ones, who would have rendered the same findings. You can figure that out on your own.

The bodies of the dead boys were found to have a series of needle marks in their groins. What I don’t understand, however, is why this experimentation proved fatal to the subjects? They must have been doing more than just extracting interferons. Or more likely, the boys had to be killed so that they wouldn’t be able to tell anybody what was done to them and who was doing it. Cover their tracks, if you will. You know, tie up loose ends. You will notice, too, that the time frame coincides with the beginning of the AIDS, or then, GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) crisis.

So, I guess that I am not the only one who is highly suspicious of our Government. And now since Dick Gregory is dead, I don’t mind carrying on his legacy of paranoia and conspiracy theories. Anyway, I have my own ideas about things and what is going on behind the scenes.

We now know that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is nothing new and has even been known about and harbored for decades. It even could have been genetically-altered to give it extra potency and its own uniqueness. I can’t imagine why they would even need such a thing, but now that we have it, what should we do with it? It’s like with a bomb. What good is it if it doesn’t go off? Knowing about the virus’ deadly potential, they needed some human guinea pigs to test it on. They can’t keep killing these children, now that someone has taken the heat for it. So who better than society’s desirably-dispensable as their targets–the gays?!

Consider, too, that this was during the time that the Gay Rights Movement in this country was really taking off. Gays were coming out by the millions and having their voices heard, demanding respect and recognition, not choosing to remain invisible and ashamed of being who they are. Somebody must have thought that we needed to be put back in our place–eliminated entirely, if possible. Some even believe that black people, too, were a main target, since the epidemic has claimed a large and ever-increasing number from the black communities as well, and in Africa, in particular. If blacks, too, get caught up in this whole ordeal, so what?

But for my purpose here, let’s use our gay brothers as the probable primary victims. “Let’s see now. We have fucked over plenty of blacks over the years, and besides, we have other ways to deal with them. We already have them killing each other all the time anyway. And military combat is a sacrificial occupation in itself. Let’s go after those goddamned queers! Nobody cares about them either. Besides, in addition, we may be able to discourage and discredit their burgeoning activism by making them social pariahs.” “Well, how can we do it? In order to avoid suspicion, we’ll have to trick them into cooperating with us somehow. How can we slip them the virus unbeknownst to them?” “I’ve got it. We’ll offer the ‘gay community,’ on a voluntary basis, a new vaccine for Hepatitis-B. I hear they have a big problem with that. I’ll bet that they’ll jump at a preventative ‘cure.’ That way we can’t really be held responsible for what happens, because we didn’t force it on them; they took it voluntarily, you see. Remember, that’s what we did with the Tuskegee Study. Once we introduce the virus to a few subjects, we can depend on them to spread it around to their friends. You know how promiscuous they are. They won’t even know how it is transmitted. They’ll never suspect us. Heh, heh, heh!” “Let’s do it!”

And what do you know? It worked! We played right into their hands. Those queens rushed over to their gay health facilities to get that “vaccine.” I was not one of those who followed the crowd, however. I tend not to be so trusting. I didn’t think that I needed it, for one thing, as I seem to have a natural immunity to hepatitis, as well as the flu virus. For another thing, the posters for the vaccine offer made me suspicious right off the bat. There was no indication of who actually made the posters, and it made me wonder who was so concerned about gay men’s health issues all of a sudden and why? They never cared before whether we lived or died.

And why were these warning notices found only in the bathhouses and gay bars? If this was a potential health concern, shouldn’t everybody be made aware of it? Why are only the gays getting special consideration? I smelled a proverbial rat. And, too, new vaccines are all experimental. You don’t know what they are really giving you. It could be anything, and they could tell you anything. And do! I perceived the message as, “’Come into my parlor,’ said the spider to the fly.“ Uh, thank you, no. I’ll pass. And you see, I am still alive to tell about it!

This was the late ’70s, and it was right soon after that the first real cases of AIDS showed up in these same gay men. A mere coincidence? I’m not naïve enough to think so. But I don’t think that these Secret Service chemists figured on their little experiment to get so out of hand like it did. I mean, it was all right that the virus also infected many intravenous drug users and some Haitians (more dispensable citizenry), but unfortunately, innocent babies, hemophiliacs and recipients of blood transfusions were affected as well, and eventually, because they thought they were somehow immune, the heterosexual community.

Now I don’t mean that other people are more deserving of the disease. What I mean by innocent is that they contracted it inadvertently, not by their own doing. It was foisted upon them by irresponsible health facilities through no action on the part of the patient, or in the case of infants, by their infected mothers. Yes, I say irresponsible, because one does not just infect thousands of people with a deadly virus by giving them untested, contaminated blood, with only the excuse, “Well, we didn’t know that there was anything wrong with it!” But it’s your responsibility to know!

People are just too trusting. That’s how they get themselves into trouble. I mean, if you were in control of the situation, would you readily accept something as important and vital as blood from a total stranger whom you know nothing about, without having it tested to see if it’s tainted in any way, especially when there is a mysterious disease going around? So, one day some genius at the blood bank got the notion, “Uh, I guess we should start testing all our blood donations from here on out, don’t you think?” Duh! Hello! Yeah, I think that would be a very good idea!

Do you need more convincing? Eventually, AIDS activists and concerned health officials started to put the pressure on the Government to do something about the crisis, which is something right there. Why would we even have to appeal to our Government and Administration to take some kind of action about such a widespread health crisis? Shouldn’t it have already been a primary concern? Look how quickly they rallied to the plight of those few hets that fell victim to that Legionnaires’ disease in 1976. That virus was non-contagious, and only 34 (presumably straight) people died from it, but it was practically declared a national health crisis at the time. And later on it was the Ebola Virus scare, when–what was it?–two or three people got it, and the country again panicked. Well then, why the utter disregard to this particular crisis? (That’s rhetorical. I do know why.)

So because of public pressure, Uncle Sam went back to his lab rats to appeal for “some kind of pacifier to offer these disgruntled People-With-Aids. You know, something to hold them all off until we can get this thing under control. But it has to be beneficial for us, too. I mean, we can’t just give up something without getting something in return, you know. What do you have for me, boys?”

“Well, we have this experimental drug called azidothymidine. We used it for a while to treat cancer patients but found it to be too poisonous for their systems. However, we have found it to inhibit the ability of the HIV to replicate itself inside human cells. That should lull those faggots into some sense of false security. You know how gullible they are. I should warn you, though—and don’t you dare divulge this to the people taking it—that due to the drug’s high toxicity, it should be taken in very small dosages. And mind you, this is not a cure, by any means, merely a deterrent.”

“Okay, that’s fine, we’ll take it. And to make sure that we can control its manufacture and distribution, we’ll make an exclusive deal with Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals. They will be the only company from which to purchase this ‘wonder drug,’ and they can charge the poor saps whatever they want for it, as long as we get our kickback, of course.”

News flash: March 20, 1987—“New hope for AIDS sufferers! The U.S. Government approves the use of the first major new drug in the fight against AIDS. AZT! It is suggested that every person with AIDS, and even if you are only HIV-positive, should start taking this miraculous drug immediately. The sooner you start, and the more you take, will be to your best advantage and defense.” Oh, by the way, the cost of a one-year prescription to AZT was only $10,000. Is that all?! A bargain! Every sick person I know on disability should be able to afford that. Of course, that cuts into their rent, food and other living expenses, but hey! It’ll be saving their life.

And of course, we did it again! Those sick queens grabbed up every AZT capsule in sight and started popping them like M&Ms. They still died on schedule, but some were actually convinced that if it hadn’t been for the AZT, they would have died sooner than they did. Perfectly healthy people with no symptoms whatsoever, but who only tested positive, started taking it, no questions asked. Complicit, unsuspecting doctors advised their patients, “Oh no, Cliff, you’re perfectly fine, and your T-cells are well within the safety zone. But I’m going to put you on AZT anyway. It will help prolong your life, for later when you do develop AIDS. Let me start you off with 500 milligrams a day.” Hunh? How is taking such massive dosages of a poisonous substance that destroys healthy, unaffected blood cells and organs supposed to prolong my life? I’m sorry, Doc, but you’ll have to do better than that, ’cause I ain’t buyin’ that one! The stuff was much too toxic to give to cancer patients, but now suddenly, it’s beneficial for faggots and junkies?!

During my travels with The Flirtations I would come across local publications with articles about PWAs in vehement protest because the much-coveted AZT was not being made available in their area. I hope that they (those that are still alive) now realize that their lives may have been spared because they couldn’t get the drug.

The late Michael Callen (my colleague and friend), a very outspoken advocate against AZT, likened it to Drano drain cleaner. He said that if he saw someone about to drink a can of Drano, he would knock it out of their hand. He felt the same way about AZT. But these mindless lemmings believed what they were told by their doctors and the media, took the vile stuff and kept right on dying in droves. So our dear Uncle Sam comes out smelling like a rose. He’s given the American public a sanctioned treatment for AIDS, which proves that he must care about us after all, when in actuality, he is still getting his way. The faggots are still dying, but now it’s a profitable venture for him as well. By the end of 1987, Burroughs-Wellcome had reduced their one-year prescription price of AZT to $8,000 (ah, much more manageable!), but with more than 20,000 people worldwide on the drug, it brought annual sales to over $160 million!

For many years Michael and I tried to convince everybody we knew about the harmful effects of AZT and were ignored and even judged harshly for our beliefs, I might add. So what do you think they found, the very same people who wholeheartedly recommended the taking of AZT in the first place? Ironically, that not only is the drug virtually ineffective in stopping the progression to AIDS in asymptomatic HIV-positive individuals, but now has proven to be quite harmful to these same individuals and may even cause the very ailments that it is supposed to be preventing! Essentially healthy people with no symptoms whatsoever, after going on AZT, immediately experienced nausea, muscle pain, fever, headaches, fatigue and weakness. Continued use then caused bone marrow and white blood cells destruction, anemia, kidney and liver failure, and neurological damage, among others. Hello? That sounds like AIDS to me! People just wouldn’t listen.

Now, do you still think that the Government is totally innocent of any wrongdoing or conspiracy? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you must have at least reasonable doubt!? Even if you still don’t believe my hepatitis vaccine theory, the Government, knowing full well of its detrimental effect, did, in fact, sanction and encourage as many as 200,000 healthy, HIV+ people to take the deadly AZT on their recommendation. If that’s not conspiratorial genocide, I don’t know what is. Wake up and smell the napalm, y’all!

It has even been suggested that there is already some kind of viable cure. Those chemists are smart enough not to create such a deadly virus without making an antigen for it, just in case, you see. It’s to protect themselves, if nothing else. But you don’t think the Conspirators are going to release it yet, not when their concealment continues to bring in all that revenue from AZT and other expensive AIDS-treatment drugs? You can bet that they are going to milk this thing dry!

So now after 40 years since this whole thing began, it has been announced that they finally have come up with a vaccine for HIV, which is supposed to counteract all known strains of the virus. It’s still in the testing stage, however, and how do we know for sure if it is effective or not? They can tell us anything, as they have done in the past. It could be a deceptive ruse just like the others were. And now we have a whole new generation of subjects on whom to experiment. Only time will tell. It’s too late for me, anyway, as I am already positive, and have been so for 35 years or longer!

To illustrate America’s concern, or rather lack thereof, here is how some of the prominent citizens of our benevolent country have responded to the AIDS crisis. A physician on “Good Morning America” in May 1983 warned viewers that although AIDS is “still confined to male homosexuals, Haitians and hemophiliacs, it could soon spread to normal people.” He then added, “We used to hate faggots on an emotional basis. Now we have a good reason.” One TV news reporter, when some straights began to worry about contracting AIDS, tried to allay their fears by saying, “There is no indication that this disease might spread to the general public.” What?! So, all these dead and dying people are not part of the “general public” or are “normal” people? Those terms apply only to heterosexuals?

Another indication that our Government was responsible, or at least knew more about it than they were letting on, is the fact that the Reagan Administration took so long even to acknowledge it. I doubt if anybody thinks that Ronnie became aware of AIDS only when his friend Rock Hudson announced that he had it in July 1985. And even then, he didn’t do anything about it. In fact, in September 1982, President “Raygun” vetoed a federal spending bill that called for a half-million dollars for AIDS research, arguing that it was “too expensive.” It seems that he needed the money to paint the American flag on his missiles, a much more important use of federal funds, apparently. I mean, why would they want to remedy a situation that they were probably responsible for? It sounds pretty passive-aggressive to me.

The late Congressman Larry McDonald, a conservative Democrat from Georgia, proposed in June 1983 that a federal “user tax” be imposed on PWAs to help finance federal AIDS research. He explained that since they “have brought the disease on themselves, they, not the American taxpayer, should have to pay for the search for a cure.” How absurd! With that thinking, then a user tax might be imposed on the President and his Defense Department, because they bring whatever current war onto themselves and should pay for it. It’s not my war. Why should I have to finance it? Anyway, did we really willingly bring the disease onto ourselves? In July 1985 U.S. Senators Pete Wilson of California and Al D’Amato of New York held a first-of-its-kind Capitol Hill briefing on AIDS for other Republican senators, and not one single senator showed up for the meeting!

In September 1985 (more than four years into the epidemic) Reagan finally used the word AIDS for the first time in public, while answering a question about it during a White House press conference. The AIDS cases count was well over 25,000 by that time. In March 1986 columnist William F. Buckley called for mandatory tattooing of “everyone detected [sic] with AIDS,” proposing that homosexuals with AIDS be tattooed on the buttocks as a warning of their condition to others. Hey, Bill, is that so you will know the health status of all the guys you fuck in the ass?! Otherwise, why would it be your concern?

In July 1987 Reagan formed a new 13-member presidential commission on AIDS which consisted of nary a PWA, nor single expert on AIDS nor even a representative for PWAs. It did include Archbishop John Cardinal O’Connor (and you know how important his opinion was) and only one openly-gay man. Even members of Reagan’s own administration regarded the commission as a “fiasco.” The United Nations held its first General Assembly session on AIDS in October 1987, more than six years after the epidemic first began! Six years, y’all!

The media wasn’t much better. They seemed not to want to discuss it either. During the first 12 months, when we already had over a thousand cases, The New York Times wrote about it a total of four times. At the same time, during the three months of the Tylenol scare in 1982, The New York Times wrote about it 54 times (several of these articles appeared on the front page)! Total number of cases: 7. How is that for journalistic priorities?

The paper ran a front page headline in March 1983 that read, “Virus Kills 30 Austrian Lippizaner Horses” (Oh, my goodness, how awful!), when they had yet to do a front page story on AIDS. More apathetic attitude is displayed in the acronym, “Adios, Infected Dick Suckers!” I heard that expressed in a movie by a homophobic character. You know what? On second thought, that piece of Atlanta graffito may be still quite valid after all. America isn’t doing shit, is it? Our healthcare must be our own personal responsibility. We can’t let “America” be in charge of our lives and welfare, can we?

Well, if you still don’t buy my Governmental conspiracy theory, how about this one? In 1983 The Globe, a tacky supermarket tabloid (and of course, they never lie), announced that AIDS was actually “the Curse of Tutankhamen,” and that the disease was unleashed on the world when archaeologists first opened King Tut’s tomb in 1922. The article went on to contend that the disease was brought to the U.S. in the late ’70s during the publicity tour of the young pharaoh’s artifacts. And I went to see the exhibit…twice! Oh, my goodness! Maybe that’s where I got it. No? You don’t buy that one, either?

I saw one amusing tabloid headline one day. I never buy those things, I just enjoyed reading the headlines while I’m in the grocery checkout line. In many cases the headlines are more thought-provoking and revealing than the actual story inside. “AIDS Scare Slashes Vampire Attacks!” it affirmed. But what I get out of that is the notion that a vampire, already presumably dead, would be concerned about contracting AIDS! I mean, what is the worse that could happen to them? They might die?…again?! Or maybe they are referring to this current crop of youthful vampires, who are very much alive and human.

You know, the bottom line is that it no longer matters where AIDS came from or who started it or why. I wouldn’t even dwell on this pending so-called cure. There are still people who are not at all concerned with AIDS, thinking that it could never happen to them or anyone close to them. There was a TV commercial for cancer treatment that had a young woman telling her friend that her sister has cancer. She says, “I thought that these things only happen to other people. But now it’s my sister.” Well, honey, your sister is “other people.” She’s not my sister!

At the Gay Pride Parade in NYC one year I saw a great placard which read, “Don’t worry—only men, women and children get AIDS.” Oh, I guess the rest of us are safe then. Before anything is done about it, however, there has to be a universal change in attitude about homosexuality. As long as faggots keep dying, no action need be taken. That’s just what they want. Therefore, the solution is up to us. The way to end AIDS is to concentrate on prevention rather than a cure.

So, here we are again. Forty years after HIV cropped up, now we have the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe that periodic population cleansing that I mentioned earlier is for real. The difference this time, however, is that this viral outbreak was taken seriously at the very beginning of its appearance. Are they trying to correct their previous oversight, has this generation become more passionate towards their fellow humans, or is it only because now it is “regular” people who are being victimized? Whereas they came up with a viable COVID vaccine in less than a year’s time, we still don’t have an HIV vaccine even after 40 years! What does that suggest?

But it just doesn’t end! It’s always something, isn’t it? Even while COVID is still not completely under control, a variant viral strain cropped up, known as Omicron. If those were not enough, there is, as of this writing, a new “monkey pox” outbreak that is claiming human lives. When some media reports have suggested that this disease may be spread via anal intercourse, it is being regarded as gay-related, just as AIDS was at its original outset. They try to blame us for everything when it suits them. We are not the only ones who engage in that particular sex act. Women have been known to take it up the ass just as men do, and they are not always gay either!

A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
Its customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
Its childish pride it often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, dear Reader, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
–Ogden Nash

[Related articles: Gay Pride and Homophobia; Sexism and Gender Issues; Let’s Have an Outing; On Being Gay]