Via gay journalist Rex Wockner:
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 10:56:27 EDT
From: Larry Kramer
To: Dr. Michael Worobey
Subject: from larry kramer re: hiv's path out of africa
dear professor worobey,
i hope my name might be familiar to you. i helped to start two of the
earliest of aids organizations, gay men's health crisis and ACT UP.
i read with interest of your discovery about hiv's path out of africa. it
is interesting that this story is getting so much play. in the early 80's
this theory was widely considered. haitians were one of the highest risk
groups at that time and would have remained so-named were it not for
considerable protest from the haitians themselves for being so singled
i offer these thoughts of mine.
in the agence france-presse version of your announcement, there is this
sentence: "The timing suggests that it was more likely to have been a
Haitian immigrant or immigrants than U.S. sex tourists returning from
Haiti, because it did not become a destination for them until the 1970s,
Dr. Worobey said."
i do not believe this to be necessarily true. gays were going to haiti for
sex in the 60's, probably in the 50's. true the major numbers were in the
70's, but there certainly were pioneers who had discovered the easy
availability of haitian men before then, much as they had discovered
thailand and morocco, say.
i also believe that hiv got into the gay population from infected factor
viii, which was being sold to hemophiliacs beginning in the 70's, by
several companies most particularly baxter-tavanol. they made this factor
viii from huge amounts of pooled blood that they collected from all over
the world and including from refugees who had fled africa after the
terrorist massacres of such as idi amin. laurie garrett has written about
this in her book, the coming plague. these companies knew their product
was infected with something but they sold it anyway. i believe hiv got
into the gay community via a gay hemophiliac on factor viii.
the "single" person coming to america with hiv that you posit need not
have been a haitian.
i would be interested in your comments.
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 08:04:12 -0700
From: Michael Worobey
To: Larry Kramer
> the "single" person coming to america with hiv that you posit need not
> have been a haitian.
I agree and have tried to say so to every reporter I've talked to. Check
out the "Listen" link here:
Offline for a bit now...
Dr. Michael Worobey
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721