There are a number of theories about AIDS which make claims about the origin and/or nature of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS that differ radically from mainstream beliefs. These theories range from claims that HIV is not the principal cause, to suggestions that AIDS was the inadvertent result of medical experiments, to claims that HIV was deliberately created.
Some scientists and others have theorized that AIDS is a man-made disease. These theories generally state that the disease was designed to act as a form of population control, or to deliberately wipe out a certain segment of the population in an act of genocide, and/or was created as biowarfare research. Others have theorized alternative natural or accidental origins for the disease.
Jakob Segal, a biology professor at Humboldt University in the former East Germany, proposes that HIV was engineered at a U.S. military laboratory at Fort Detrick, located in Frederick, Maryland by splicing together two other viruses, Visna and HTLV-1. According to his theory, the new virus, created between 1977 and 1978, was tested on prison inmates who had volunteered for the experiment in exchange for early release. It was through these prisoners that the virus was spread to the population at large. Segal was accused of being a Soviet disinformation agent by defector Vasili Mitrokhin. However, it hardly makes sense that a virus for sheep and human T-cell lukeimia "put together" could cause the damage of HIV. Human viruses and sheep viruses do not affect each other. Much similar to parvo virus for dogs (dogs and sheep are similar in many ways) do not affect sheep or humans.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai was alleged to have stated that she believes that the biological agent causing AIDS is not natural.
KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin alleges that the KGB planted disinformation suggesting the CIA or other agencies created HIV, in a plot to destabilize the Western world through an East German physicist, Jakob Segal, in the mid 1980s (see the Mitrokhin Archive, 1999 page 319).
Dr. Alan Cantwell, author of AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic and Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot, believes that HIV is a genetically modified organism developed by U.S. Government scientists; that it was introduced into the population through Hepatitis B experiments performed on gay and bisexual men between 1978-1981 in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, Denver, and Chicago. Cantwell claims these experiments were directed by Dr. Wolf Szmuness; and that there is an ongoing government and media cover-up regarding the origin of the AIDS epidemic. Similar theories have been advanced by Dr. Robert B. Strecker, Matilde Krim and by Milton William Cooper, author of Behold A Pale Horse
Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz, author of Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional? and Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism and Toxic Warfare, has advanced the theory that the AIDS virus was engineered by such U.S. Government defense contractors as Litton Bionetics for the purposes of bio-warfare and "population control." Dr. Horowitz believes that Jews, blacks, and Hispanics are prime targets in these attempts. He cites the historical preoccupation with eugenics on the part of the American medical establishment as evidence of a greater conspiracy to commit genocide.
Minority theories of causation, origin or treatment
A number of proponents of alternative theories of the causation or origin of AIDS are sometimes accused of being conspiracy theorists. However, non-majoritarian positions do not necessarily endorse any belief in any conspiracy, but simply think that the majority positions are incorrect from a scientific perspective.
Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, along with other prominent members of the ruling African National Congress party, has argued that AIDS is the result of poverty, chronic disease, malnutrition and other environmental factors. Mbeki drew on the ideas of AIDS dissidents, such as Peter Duesberg, Robert Root-Bernstein, and Kary Mullis (inventor of polymerase chain reaction), who have argued that HIV does not cause AIDS, nor the sole factor in AIDS etiology. These arguments are made despite overwhelming evidence that HIV infection fulfills Koch's postulates, so therefore is the etiology of AIDS. It has been suggested that the ANC leadership adopted this position as a political expedient, intended to deflect criticism that the ANC had not done enough to fight AIDS in South Africa. "Stop Denying the Killer Bug" (21 February 2002). In 2000, two statements by government spokespeople, (one later retracted), placed the financial cost of treating pregnant HIV positive women and the subsequent cost to the state of raising the child as central in the decision of whether to provide anti-retroviral drug treatment. Also in 2000, Mbeki claimed that the CIA, "is part of a conspiracy to promote the view that HIV causes AIDS", and that Western drug companies were promoting that view as well, in order to increase sales of their anti-AIDS drugs.
Edward Hooper, author of The River, suggests that HIV1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is an evolution of SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus), a virus found in the chimpanzee. However, he lays blame on Dr. Hilary Koprowski, a Polish-born virologist working for Philadelphia's Wistar Research Institute, who allegedly used hastily concocted chimpanzee kidney culture medium from a Stanleyville research laboratory to create a million doses of oral polio vaccine for a mass vaccination program in the Belgian Congo. He points out inconsistencies in what Koprowski and his team said they did, and what workers in Koprowski's labs and at his chimpanzee research camp said was done; he also implicates pharmaceutical industry pressure and Koprowski's single-minded drive to beat Drs. Salk and Sabin to have the first commercially-available polio vaccine as contributing factors to the outbreak. Although supported by the influential evolutionary biologist, W. D. Hamilton, Hooper's claims are not supported by empirical evidence and were rejected by the scientific establishment in 2000 at a conference at the Royal Society in London. In spite of this, the 2004 documentary The Origins Of AIDS has once again brought attention on this theory. See also: OPV AIDS hypothesis