Readers' Submissions

Fact Checker: The Crimes of Angeles



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This is just a little reminder to submission authors of how easy it is to double check your "facts" and ideas before posting them on a public forum. In the case of the author of The Crimes of Angeles, the above paragraph should be tattooed on his forehead so that every time he looks in the mirror he would be reminded of this simple advice. For those who think I am being a little rough on these deluded authors with my Fact Checker series, I will remind my readers of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s adage that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts”

Felix: …the first cases of AIDS were discovered. In Haiti and in San Francisco …

Actually, the first case of confirmed AIDS was in Los Angeles. In June 1981, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) published a report about the occurrence of a rare form of lung infection called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or PCP, in five men in Los Angeles. As researchers would later find out, these men were really dying of AIDS related causes so it is considered the first realization in the medical community that there was a deadly virus loose on humanity. As many more cases were confirmed, speculation was rampant that it might be a disease of the gay community, thus the malicious evocations from many Christian church leaders that this was the wrath of God at work. But, as non-gay victims were identified, especially hemophiliacs and IV drug users, it became clear that this was a disease that could infect anyone. While case reports of AIDS have documented human infections of HIV prior to 1970, current available data suggest that the pandemic started in the mid- to late 1970s. By 1980, HIV had spread to at least five continents. During this period, the spread was unchecked by awareness or any preventive action and approximately 100,000-300,000 persons may have been infected. By late 1982, the disease was first properly defined by the CDC and the name used in newspapers and scientific journals, was AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Felix: [I don't believe] that a man in Central Africa was infected by the blood of a chimpanzee, whom he slaughtered, and transferred the virus in 1966 to a visitor from Haiti.

A research team from Nottingham University and the University of Alabama, during the course of a 10-year long study into the origins of the virus, made a startling discovery and their findings were published two years later in Nature magazine in 2003. In the article, the researchers concluded that wild chimps had been infected simultaneously with two different simian immunodeficiency viruses which had "viral sex" to form a third virus. This virus could be passed on to other chimps and was capable of infecting humans and causing AIDS. But how did the virus jump from chimps to humans?

The most commonly accepted theory is that "bushmeat" hunters in Africa were the first human hosts for AIDS. In this scenario, a variant of AIDS called SIVcpz was transferred to humans as a result of chimps being killed and eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds on the hunter. Normally the hunter's body would have fought off SIV, but on a few occasions, it adapted itself within its new human host and became HIV-1. The fact that there were several different early strains of HIV, each with a slightly different genetic make-up, supports the theory that every time it passed from a chimpanzee to a man, it would have developed in a slightly different strain within his body.

This is not a far-fetched theory. An article published in The Lancet in 2004, described how retroviral transfers from primates to hunters is still occurring even today. In a sample of 109 individuals in Cameroon, they discovered ten who were infected with SFV (Simian Foamy Virus), an illness which was previously thought only to infect primates. All these infections were believed to have been acquired through the butchering and consumption of monkey and ape meat. Discoveries such as these have led to calls for an outright ban on bushmeat hunting to prevent simian viruses from being passed to humans. In fact, several international groups sponsored by the United Nations are now working in Africa to discourage this practice and to prevent the next trans-species infection, for which our DNA has little defense.

(Source: http://www.avert.org/origin-aids-hiv.htm )

Felix: Stefan Heym claimed the virus had escaped from an American laboratory for biological warfare. I do not follow his theory, but it is more believable …

At first I thought this delusion was another anti-American rant that occasionally appears on this site, but I took my own advice and did a little research. I found out that Stefan Heym was a German of Jewish descent who emigrated to the United States in 1935 when the Nazis came to power. He became a US citizen and served in a psychological warfare unit of the US Army in World War II. In 1952, he returned all his American military commendations in protest of the Korean War, moved to Prague, and in the following year to East Germany, where he quickly became a literary and political icon. On 18 February 1987, the major West German daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung published a lengthy interview of Heym and his colleague Jakob Segal, in which the pair accused the American government of producing the AIDS virus.

Possibly unknown to Heym but doubtful given his psyc-ops background , retired East German biophysicist Professor Jakob Segal was a fellow Jew and a devout GDR supporter. But he was also the main spokesperson for a disinformation campaign formulated by the East German Foreign Intelligence unit to depict AIDS as a product of American biological warfare. Of course, the East Germans were playing on the worldwide fear that AIDS had produced in the west. Most people saw this deception for what it was, but some dimwits, like our author, believed it long after the scientific proof against it was crystal clear. I wonder if Felix is a former Stasi agent still disgruntled about German unification, as his timelines mark him as a man of that time. But unlike him, I will not resort to speculation and instead stick to the facts of the story.

Anyway, below is great read on this disinformation campaign.

(Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no4/pdf/U-%20Boghardt-AIDS-Made%20in%20the%20USA-17Dec.pdf )

Felix: The AIDS virus moved in 1984 to Thailand and mutated to an extremely dangerous subspecies called HIV-E …

As stated above, by the time Thai medical officials could properly identify HIV and AIDS, the virus was already firmly implanted all over the world, including Asia. This was well before 1984. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Both types appear to cause clinically indistinguishable AIDS. However, it seems that HIV-2 is less easily transmitted and the period between initial infection and illness is longer in the case of HIV-2. I believe Felix is referring to the classification of HIV strains into subtypes and CRF's, which is a very complex issue to describe. One of the CRF's is called A/E because it is thought to have resulted from hybridization between subtype A and some other "parent" subtype E. However, no one has ever found a pure form of subtype E. Confusingly, many people still refer to the CRF A/E as "subtype E" when in fact it is most correctly called CRF01_AE. Several studies conducted in Thailand suggest that people infected with CRF A/E progress faster to AIDS and death than those infected with subtype B, if they do not receive antiretroviral treatment. But in Thailand, like everywhere else on the planet, there are multiple CRF's at work due to the ease of worldwide travel. Other than that, there is no "dangerous subspecies" of HIV in Thailand or anywhere else.

[Source: http://www.avert.org/hiv-types.htm ]

Finally, what is with this obsession with Korski? This fine author has decided to stop writing submissions for this web site and I respect his reasons for doing so. He has also asked Stick to remove his past submissions, which Stick did, and I respect Stick for doing that as well. True, Korski may be submitting new submissions under a new alias but there are any number of writers doing that today. Who knows who is writing what? What's the big deal? I suspect that one of Korski's biggest detractors, also writing under new aliases, is taking some cheap shots at Korski. Not having his familiar foil to perjure and abuse, has left this writer with little to say. I suspect that this blowhard, whose original alias references a place indicative of his intelligence, is longing to get Korski back in the saddle. However, I am openly speculating and not stating facts. But for those who decide to continue with this Korski fetish, let me suggest you write about more interesting subjects as this has become such a boorish topic such that it is reducing the quality of Stick's web site, which I genuinely care about.

Stickman's thoughts:

It's amazing how the whole HIV / AIDS thing gets some people quite animated and others are completely passive about it – surprising given that some of those who seem indifferent to it are so often those who are at risk of contracting it.