« Out Traveler names Fort Lauderdale top gay resort for 2007 | Main | Gay men still banned from giving blood »

AIDS study spurs Haitian outrage

BY FRED TASKER and JACQUELINE CHARLES, ftasker@miamiherald.com

A new scientific finding that AIDS came to the United States from Africa via Haiti, probably arriving in Miami as early as 1969, stoked controversy among researchers and Haitians on Tuesday -- reopening deep wounds over the medical community's role in perpetuating a stigma against people from the island.

Published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study aims to better explain the origin of AIDS, whose history involves a virus with a sketchy story line that began in Africa in the 1930s and emerged in Los Angeles in 1981.

The findings were based, in part, on blood samples taken from about 20 Haitian patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital as early as 1979. The samples were frozen, stored at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and reanalyzed by the study's authors, including a researcher at the University of Miami.

''We were seeing patients at Jackson Memorial with what we now call AIDS, and at the time we didn't even know it,'' said Dr. Arthur Pitchenik, co-author of the study and a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Medical School. ``I started seeing Haitian immigrant patients with TB. They would get better from the TB only to die three to six months later from what we now call AIDS.''

Dr. Michael Gottlieb, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of the original discoverers of AIDS, said the analysis placed the HIV virus that causes it in the United States nearly a decade earlier than previously believed.

''It's pretty clear evidence for Haiti as a stepping-stone,'' he said. ``The suggestion that the infection was further below our radar than I'd previously suspected is kind of unnerving.''

''This is very credible work,'' added Dr. Margaret Fischl, a pioneering UM AIDS researcher. ``Their approach is the way it should be done. Some of my colleagues think this is really remarkable work.''

The findings drew immediate anger from Miami's Haitian community and raised concerns among some AIDS scientists, as well.

''People are going crazy,'' said Dr. Laurinus Pierre, executive director of the Center for Haitian Studies in Little Haiti. Pierre said he has fought stigmas against Haitians from the first days of AIDS, in which researchers blamed the epidemic on the ''Four Hs'' -- homosexuals, Haitians, hemophiliacs and heroin addicts.

In February 1990, the Food and Drug Administration barred Haitians from donating blood in the United States, a policy that ignited scores of protests and highly publicized boycotts of blood drives. By December 1990, the FDA had scrapped its policy and developed a more rigorous screening of all blood donors.

To many, the policy pushed an already taboo subject in the Haitian community deeper in the shadows and discouraged many from seeking treatment, a phenomenon some say the latest findings could cause to happen again.

''This does a disservice to the Haitian community, who feel like they already went through this 20 years ago,'' said Dr. Paul Farmer, professor of medical anthropology at Harvard University and a founder of Partners in Health, an international research and aid organization active in fighting AIDS in Haiti. ``This is very slender evidence on which to base such a grand claim.''

''I don't think this is very helpful,'' said Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, a professor of medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. ``People love to play history, and it would be great to figure out who Patient Zero was. But there are doubts.''

The study's lead author, Michael Worobey, a University of Arizona evolutionary biologist, defended his methodology Tuesday and denied any disservice to the Haitian community.

Worobey and his co-authors analyzed the frozen blood samples from about 20 of Pitchenik's Haitian patients at Jackson from the late '70s and early '80s. They set up a medical timeline that they say indicates the HIV virus arrived in Haiti in 1966 and in Miami by 1969.

Worobey said he estimated the timing of the virus' arrival by taking samples of the virus from the late 1970s to 2000. By knowing the rate at which the viruses mutate, he said he was able to create a picture of what the virus looked like in 1969. And by comparing viruses from the United States and Haiti during this time, he could deduce when the virus arrived in the States.

''It's a common technique used in genetic analysis and human evolution,'' Worobey said Tuesday.

The study concludes that AIDS arrived in Haiti after Haitians went to the Democratic Republic of Congo as workers after that country won independence in 1960.

It debunks the original ''Patient Zero'' theory that said the HIV virus came to Los Angeles via a gay Canadian flight attendant named Gaetan Dugas. That theory was created by Dr. William Darrow and others at the CDC and turned into the 1987 book And the Band Played On, by journalist Randy Shilts. Darrow later repudiated his own study.

Pitchenik said he realized this week's study would be controversial in the Haitian community.

''I want to stress that this has nothing to do with race or sex or color of skin, and we should not stigmatize any particular group,'' he said.

``It's not whether you're Haitian or homosexual. It's the high-risk behavior you engage in. Whether you have unprotected sex, whether you're a drug user sharing needles.''

In Haiti, where 6 percent of the population was HIV-infected in 2003, the situation has improved, with HIV rates dropping to 2 percent by 2006, the CDC says.

This report was supplemented with material from Miami Herald wire services.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e200e54f71cbf98834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference AIDS study spurs Haitian outrage:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

So Haitians were dying of AIDS (obviously without it being called AIDS) in the US probably throughout the 1970s and no one was concerned? The doctors didn't bring the strange deaths to anyone's attention? And they haven't said anything for all of these decades? When you think about how little those in power cared about dying gay men - to see even less attention given to dying Haitians is just horrifying.
I hope the discussion of this information will focus on our regret and sadness that people were dying in this awful way and that no one noticed that it was anything out of the ordinary. We lgbts at least should all know well how it is to be treated with hostility and blame for AIDS by those outside our communities when the appropriate human reaction should have been grief for our losses and support for our struggles to end the epidemic.

AIDS were brought over by the Japs, chinks and Kooks.

Huh, a Haitian and a gay are on here defending there high risk behavior. Its not that we intentionally label someone to be more prone to a disease, but when they are involved in high risk behavior such as unprotected sex and needle sharing in far larger numbers than the general population, then you have yourself an issue. When the group does nothing about the issue at hand, others will label them to be more at risk, due to the indifference to change the current course. Haitians take drugs and don't use condoms, if you don't like that label, then why continue on the same track for the past 50 years? Or you could say"AIDS were brought over by the Japs, chinks and Kooks." which is completely untrue and not even relevant to the history, that part of the world is not called Africa and Haiti...it is called Asia

As an Haitian man , I am deeply offended by the bogus finding that AIDS virus came to the U.S via Haiti. First of all, Haitian do not travel to Africa, Our people do not have access to travel and work all of way in africa to work .This finding is purely racist , subjective, and anti-haitian. We have been through this in 80s , we are not stand by this crap today.It is unfair to target a peaceful nation with no clear fact and evidence.It is easy to target the poor, weak, and the black.

as haitian,I never read any article that has a bias effect on a naive nation like Haitian people.Such studies about hiv/aids have declined the prestige of human kinds in which all haitian need to stand up and to fight for the prestige of our nation.In fact, i can tell that scientist to go to hell.This is the reazon why God punishes us.How come one nation or one gene in partular can travel all over the world to infect the world.we did not go to Africa to face the monkees and the chimpanzees.we did not go to study the monkeys in africa.from that evidence,you see there is an atmosphere of hate against us.I do not know if our independence played a great role of such magnitude stigma of aids.This is one thing i like to conclude;" CHINA,JAPON.USA.RUSSIA,FRANCE,ENGLAND AND GERMANY KNOW THE SOURCE OF THE VIRUS.The virus become a problem to the world.They need to find a solution for it.do not put the burden on haitian people. I believe if we are capable of fighting that racism.we,haitian people deserve to sue that scientist and make them paid for their own failure.That study is racist.Shame on you.

Everything that is no good is "black" according to these racists. When these so-called degenerates who called themselves WHITES from Europe, came to the western world which they claimed they found, even though over 72 Million persons were the inhabitants, they killed them off with spears,syphilis and gonorrhea. I am surprised they did not say Africans and Haitians were the ones who brought the disesae.

You robbed the blacks of everytthing they have, even their dignity you are now trying to destroy.

The truth is the AIDS virus is man made and created by United States and Dr. Robert Gallo. It was given through vaccines in Africa and to gays in New York beginning 1962. boydgraves.com

Maybe now they will stop the influx of hatian migrants!

Depot them all before they infect the rest of us.

Hey Sunny its "deport". But I agree send them back!

This proves, once again, that "HIV" is phony and people were always dying of "AIDS", we just hadn't created the category "AIDS" yet. "AIDS" is a lifestyle disease of insane drug abuse, chemotherapy agents, or starvation, or a combination of those factors. End the "HIV" lie.

This is a disgrace a big country like the U.S. beating up on a small island nation like Haiti. I am a caucasian person and I am ashamed of my race. I saw this disgusting news on CNN (where millions of people watch) Haiti being the caused of bringing AIDS to the U.S. . I have studied history and found that Haiti is the first black independent nation in the western hemisphere (1804). They got their independence by setting up and effective revolution against France and therefore encouraged other slaves around the world to revolt. Haiti has since been beaten upon because it is black and because of what happened back in 1804. Cubans and other races come here and are welcomed with open arms but Haitians are sent back to Haiti. Now, anyone with a half a brain would realize that this is a racist study that is diretly affecting Haiti and would prevent tourists from going there. The U.S. is my country and it is the greatest country in the world but when we are wrong we have to admit it. If we are a God fearing country we cannot act this way. This horrible news is definetely not helping a poor country like Haiti on its way to rebuild itself.

We have been through this before. As an Haitian American man, I suggest that we mobilize and sue Dr. Michael Goettlieb and his group of third-reich pseudo scientists.
As a matter of fact,homosexual american men probably brought the virus to Haiti and to all the poor, third world countries.It is convenient to blame the Haitians because they are so weak,poor, black and always fighting among themselves.
What the fake scientists don't tell us is that the AIDS virus had been found in an American college student way before 1969. Where did it come from and why the urge to put the blame on Haitians and Africans? They all should be prosecuted for slander and made to pay a price for their racists views, otherwise it never going to end.

Why is it that the 'race card' is played every time something bad is discovered for a black population? Back in the 1960's it might be understandable, but not anymore. Science can not be tricked by this argument so why do you? AID's may have come to the US via Haiti, but AID's also went to Europe, Asia and other African Nations as well. So where did it come from when it went into Europe or Asia? Surely none of us believe that it came from Haiti when it went into those populations. But if you see a report that a US scientist says it did, THEN you might be able to make a claim that it's racist. AIDS came from the CONGO region of Africa. There are all kinds of nasty bugs that come from that region and this is one of them. If the Ebola virus had a longer life span and it came to the US via Cuban soldiers fighting in Africa, would you also claim that as a racist identification? You probably would. But fortunately, that didn't happen. Instead of complaining why don't you get medical degree's and solve the AIDS problem instead of complaining about provable history.
Along the way you will discover that it is very important to know the historical context of a disease in finding a cure for it. How do you think penecilin was discovered? It was noticed that certain scandinavian populations didn't have the clap. Those populations also had a diet high in moldy bread and cheese. Bingo. A starting place to look for a cure. First we have to know where it comes from and where it is not. Who survives, and then why. And Haiti might be part of that solution because it might be that there are family lines there that had AIDS and survived it. If that is so, it may be that Haiti could be the only place in the world that we will be able to find the magic bit of information that leads us to a cure. Did you think of that?

As a Haitian young woman, I am also offended by the scientist comments that us Haitian as a nation has brought AIDS to the United of America. A research was only done to twenty people and that determine that a whole nation is HIV how ignorant that one can be. He does not care about the damages he can cause for spreading this rumors. Now in this day an age this is what he can come up with. We have our children that's going to school who can get hurt because of someone ignorant. If any of our young Haitian children get hurt because of this, the scientist and his whole entire organization will have a lawsuit on their lap.

Hmmm. Nobody minded when AIDS was blamed on Canadian flight attendants. So why the outrage that the virus apparently passed through Haiti?

And so what if Haitians were blocked from donating blood? I expect that Haitians who got in bad car accidents would like to recieve uninfected blood transfusians as much as the rest of us.

Lots of people are denied the opportunity to donate blood for lots of reasons. For example, I can't donate blood because of a cadeveric graft that I have in my body. Have I marched on Washington because I am now a "stigmatized" minority? No. I don't scream about bigotry because I see the risk and don't wish to unintentionally harm anyone.

Just how is a virus racist? Just how does tracing its path around the world make you racist? Is it only OK to trace it through the United States and Europe and leave all other countries out of it?

And if doctors don't identify a new disease right away, they're racists too, right? What about Haitain doctors who had been seeing it for decades...? Why didn't they name it?

These posts are ridiculous! Can anybody here read? The scientists didn't blame anyone, let alone all Haitians. They merely stated the path this virus took around the world.

So it got to the USA from Haiti....? Is that any worse than if it got here from Australia?

The United States was then a stepping stone to other countries. I'm an American. Should I be complaining about this stigmatization?

"HIV/AIDS"
- no definition of cell killing mechanism yet.
- No Nobel prizes for any "HIV" scientist.
- Not one nurse, surgeon or EMT has caught AIDS and died.
-Chimpanzees innoculated in 1984 released to sanctuary due to them not getting sick.
-Prostitutes were not on any population at risk list.
-No vaccine yet, why not if a vaccine is just dead virus.
-Almost no cases among middle class whites, except for gay white men, all others who ring up antibody positive are black or latino.
- no drug free "AIDS" deaths, all either took street drugs or "AIDS" drugs.
-All long term survivors have avoided "AIDS" drugs, including Magic Johnson, Greg Louganis, and Tommy Morrison.
-Not one scientist or lab technician has ever gotten AIDS and died.
-Still no definition of how "HIV" causes "AIDS".
-All the first papers written on "AIDS" focused on lifestyle factors such as "poppers".
- "HIV" tests are antibody tests, but antibodies indicate life long immunity.
-"Viral load" does not measure any actual virus, but instead detects bits of RNA.
- Half "AIDS" patients die from liver failure, from taking "AIDS" drugs.
-AZT, the first "AIDS" drug, was a 1964 chemotherapy agent that was too toxic to give cancer patients. It was pulled off the shelf in 1986 and called a miracle drug. 300,000 have died from that drug.
Open your eyes.

What absurd rants. I'm truly amazed some of these commenters can use a computer. This is unbiased scientific evidence that is agendaless in relation to race, sex or sexual orientation. The study clearly explains that Haitian workers were in Africa and likely contracted the disease from there. It in turn came to the U.S. via Haiti. How is this blaming Haitians or blacks for everything that's wrong? I doubt anyone assumes these people wanted to catch and spread a fatal disease. The fact that this is traced to Haitian workers in Africa also fails to condemn based on a reckless lifestyle. If anything, it reflects industrious individuals who traveled to where there was opportunity for work. Research how AIDS is initially believed to have spread from simians to humans and one of the most accepted theories is that infected ape or monkey meat was consumed by humans in Africa and, over time, the virus mutated and strengthened. Not sexual contact. In fact, one of the first recorded AIDS victims was a female doctor from Sweden (I believe) who was working in Africa. You can't get more white than that. So stop looking for a reason to be outraged and offended because there's nothing to be offended about. Canadians weren't crying xenophobia when Patient Zero was speculated to be a flight attendant from their country. I guess we should just ignore decades of scientific research to cling to an ideal based in fantasy and a twisted notion of ethnic pride rather than facts - facts that might one day lead to curing this horrific disease.

This study is bias in a sense that it is based of facts that are refutable. Therefore, we cannot call it scientific.
We should not give any legs to it,it is however unfortunate that The AJM published such an inaccurate study.
As a haitian, I know that we will survive, we have survived much more.
It is imperative that the haitian intelligentia come up with a scientific research to refute this nonsense.

WTF people. Crap happens, and sometimes it happens where you may live. It's not a bias because they traced something back to where you grew up, it just happens to very likely be true.

I guess YOU are the experts, calling something bogus eh? I'm sure you've done all the research that they have done, right? I mean, you're saying it's wrong, so OBVIOUSLY you have counterclaims you've researched, right? It's what idiots like you do when you let your emotions get the best of your logic.

So what if it came from Haiti. And then it probably came from Africa. "First of all, Haitian do not travel to Africa" Really, never? Never ever? Get over yourself.

You're Haitian, therefore nothing could possibly have come from Haiti that is bad, correct? As an American I will state that America never did anything bad, like I fully refute that slavery ever existed, because after reading all these comments I feel left out that I don't have some kind of ignorant and retarded stance on life and can't handle the truth.

This study is not complete and reeks of ignorance.
If you really want to know the truth you have to go back to the origin of the disease.First of all very few Haitians traveled to Africa for more than a century ;these poor peasants hardly knew where Africa was they could never afford to go there at all.I was born in 1941 ;my dad was a well known and respected physician on the island ;he never saw a case of AIDS on the island at all until Americans and European tourists came to the island in droves in the sixties and seventies. .Right away we noticed that the island became invaded by gay tourists from all over Europe and America;;a lot of them had sex with the peasantry .It was easy for them to pay to have sex with heterosexual men for money .Haiti being a poor country ;these men paid handsomely to have sex with young men who dwelled on the shores of the island..These men had sex with the poor peasants who became instant bisexuals for money.I remember seeing the beach boys going places with all the gays tourists who frequented the island in the sixties and early seventies.
Most Haitian folks could not afford to visit Africa ;there was no African connection in Haiti at that time.Haiti is not in Africa ;it is a Western country ;located three hours away from Florida .You need to look at your map before you come with this nonsense.The upper class Haitians used to travel to America or France for years ;rarely to Africa.
.So this study is false and erroneous .
My dad started to see very ill young men come to his public practice in the seventies some were even married ;they all had ulcers and others odd types of symptoms that he had not noticed in his practice for over 30 years.Most of the young men who came to him were working in hotels and other touristic sites.I remember that he was quite concerned about the symptoms that they had ; he had never seen them in his practice at all.He discussed them with other physicians and my mom who was a pharmacist.He was pretty suspicious about what he heard in the news in the 80s and he was very upset about false reports and innuendos about Haiti and and the origin of Aids.
You see as a prolific care giver he had never encountered cases of Aids in the island before the big Tourist invasion of American gays .One of my friends who was a gay American tourist;he told us that there was a great club by the sea where he stayed and had a great time with young men who lived on the coast of Haiti. He was an American lawyer who was sick even before he traveled to the island.As a matter of fact he was plagued by some weird symptoms before he went to the island .He was from New York city . I recommended that he visits the island to rest a little and he went to Haiti in 1972 .Little that I knew that he would be one of the gay tourists who would spread the desease on the coast of the island.The same problem was true of the other islands but fortunately for Jamaicans ;they are a little less promiscuous than Haitians who tend to be very open minded and welcome all types of sexual behavior.They have really liberated French customs and habits.They were more tolerant of other people and sex is really not taboo with gays.This is really a hypocritical way of life ;they don't condone sexual acts with gays openly but they tolerate it if it happens.These people are still very tolerant because prostitution is legal in Haiti.Some wives on the island tolerated their husbands to have sex with the foreign visitors from America because they gave them a lot of money for special favors.
Please stop this delusion ;stop these lies Aids in America did not come from the island of HAITI .Au contraire it was the other way around and if my dad was still alive he could prove it .This man was a veteran in the art of medicine and a righteous one too .He lived to be 91 years old and so were many other physicians who lived during his era.The men of the island who died of Aids were the poor victims of prostitution , rough and dangerous sexual practices in the sixties and seventies.American Gay Tourism in Haiti was to be blamed for this epidemic scourge called Aids on the island.Remember that Haiti is in America not in Africa.Get hold of a map and study it right this time.

Now surely we know by now that the Haitians could'nt have brought Aids to the United States especially considering the politically congressional "Return to Sender" clause placed upon all Haitians who have attempted to enter this country. Don't forget the initial ignorance that Aids was a Gay disease therefore causing thousands upon thousands of our friends and family members to fall pray to this awful sickness due to such mis-information. Many were deceived into thinking that as long as you were not gay, you would not be infected with Aids. oh yeah! and those who are willing to try anything once, or sleep with Haitians. The fact of the matter is these so-called scholars, these insults to good common sense have far too much time on their hands. Instead of putting forth an effort to finding a cure for this monster of a disease; they rediculiously pursue fault and blame for what should obviously be considered a credible world plague.

I lived in "Little Haiti" in Miami, which is undoubtedly the biggest Hatian area in the US. You call can express any level of outrage you like, but until you live amongst this culture, you will never understand how bankrupted it is from almost any shred of civility or sophistication. I was stupefied and am so glad to be gone.

Their country is a wreck, considered one of the worst in the world, and the people carry that with them when they move elsewhere. They are savagely rude, dirty, and absurdly ungrateful, on the whole.

While all Hatians are not dirty, most are. I have to admit I felt bad for them, because they do not even realize it. But walk into a Hatian store or restaurant and what do you experience? Almost no art of any kind, or aesthetic presentation, and normally a stench that sometimes borders on putrifying.

Feel free to hate on me, while you are at it. This insistence that all cultures are equal, despite their standards, will be the death of America. Just watch.

Geez, I was so into posting I didn't realize this paper was the Herald. Of course any locals understand I am giving the Gospel truth here about Haitians.

I used to have to run across the street to avoid being run over and could never understand why. I then looked up "Haitian Driving" on Google & found the description from the American Consul of Haitians was exactly my experience. In short, no drivers from there should be allowed licenses in the States.

A few Haitians I met were as nice as anyone you'd care to interact with, but they were the minority. All this proves is the problem is not genetic. It is a CULTURAL ISSUE.

I am tired of being insulted by my Government by their appalling immigration policies. If there was a door-to-door check of immigrants in Miami, probably 40% would have to be detained.

Is this the best we can do?

Folks are clearly misreading the findings of this article. The purpose of the study is not to assign blame but to better understand the history of transmission and the evolutionary history of mutation so we can learn about patterns of disease transmission in an increasingly mobile world and to develop treatments or vaccines based on mutation patterns.

While as a gay man I can appreciate the reactions of Haitians who remember the crazy discrimination and panic of 20 years ago, making denials of valid scientific findings is absurd. First, for those of you who state that Haitians never traveled to Africa, please check out the following article on the PBS network website from a couple years back. It includes a discussion with a CDC researcher who was in the recently independent, French-speaking Congo as a teacher and remembers the presence of Haitian workers to fill positions previously often held by Belgians or French before independence. Once a reserve of HIV was established in Haiti, it is quite possible that gay men had sex with infected Haitians and became themselves infected just as well as infected Haitians immigrating to the US. THis is not about national or ethnic pride, folks, this about understanding a terrible disease that is now a global pandemic so we are more prepared for other infectious disease threats in our globalized world. Science is the hope; denial and wishful thinking are not.

sorry I forgot to provide the link to PBS, as noted in my earlier post.

a lot of rhetoric, vitriol and just plain ignorance here. i'm african and i am offended by every aspect of this study, more so because i have a tremendous respect for science; it underpins my personal belief system. however, some analysis of the study methodology begs for clarity. firstly it seems obvious the study was begun with a predisposed bias: that the virus was related to africa, by deduction african or african derived peoples provide a natural starting place (if they didnt pick haiti it would have been jamaica or the bahamas or whatever) prove it you say? well the lead scientist was in LA but he closed in on 20 samples taken from haitians in 1979 stored in a lab in ATL. of all the millions of samples that they must have in ATL,and elsewhere (if they have 20 from 1979 from obscure people,what else do you think they have?)why those? what tests led him there? secondly we have spent untold billions,and smartest minds on cancer cures with no success, the little we have spent on AIDS (relatively speaking -oh and still no cure) and here we have its genetic evolution? the story here seems too simplistic, too easy - look at how acceptable the mainstream finds it(lack of dissention is acceptance by proxy)thirdly, if they believed for so long it was a gay guy and their science said it was - was the science wrong for so long or is true either way its a superstrong theory seemingly questionable.

Here we go again.... round two. These scientists would had us believe that the HIV virus existed in Congo and Zaire in Africa all these years and got out of the African continent only Haitians travel to these countries to work. What a nice looking pile of Sh*t!

Pounder on this:
The ratio of Americans, Canadians, Europeans that have the economic ability to travel the world, to include Africa (jungle fever ;-)), for sex must be a lot higher than any number of Haitians we can gather. Regardless what the result of this misguided studies, these so-called scientists can not beat these numbers; therefore their findings are statistically full of holes.

These scientists to tell us all the HIV virus waited for a Haitian host to spread its wings throughout the world, as if the fabric make up of an Haitian DNA is different from any other man alive.

Can anyone smell an ulterior motive here? I wonder who funded their study.... MMMMMMM!!!!!!!

Here we go again.... round two. These scientists would had us believe that the HIV virus existed in Congo and Zaire in Africa all these years and got out of the African continent only Haitians travel to these countries to work. What a nice looking pile of Sh*t!

Pounder on this:
The ratio of Americans, Canadians, Europeans that have the economic ability to travel the world, to include Africa (jungle fever ;-)), for sex must be a lot higher than any number of Haitians we can gather. Regardless what the result of this misguided studies, these so-called scientists can not beat these numbers; therefore their findings are statistically full of holes.

These scientists to tell us all the HIV virus waited for a Haitian host to spread its wings throughout the world, as if the fabric make up of an Haitian DNA is different from any other man alive.

Can anyone smell an ulterior motive here? I wonder who funded their study.... MMMMMMM!!!!!!!

Here we go again.... round two. These scientists would had us believe that the HIV virus existed in Congo and Zaire in Africa all these years and got out of the African continent only Haitians travel to these countries to work. What a nice looking pile of Sh*t!

Pounder on this:
The ratio of Americans, Canadians, Europeans that have the economic ability to travel the world, to include Africa (jungle fever ;-)), for sex must be a lot higher than any number of Haitians we can gather. Regardless what the result of this misguided studies, these so-called scientists can not beat these numbers; therefore their findings are statistically full of holes.

These scientists to tell us all the HIV virus waited for a Haitian host to spread its wings throughout the world, as if the fabric make up of an Haitian DNA is different from any other man alive.

Can anyone smell an ulterior motive here? I wonder who funded their study.... MMMMMMM!!!!!!!

Here we go again.... round two. These scientists would had us believe that the HIV virus existed in Congo and Zaire in Africa all these years and got out of the African continent only Haitians travel to these countries to work. What a nice looking pile of Sh*t!

Pounder on this:
The ratio of Americans, Canadians, Europeans that have the economic ability to travel the world, to include Africa (jungle fever ;-)), for sex must be a lot higher than any number of Haitians we can gather. Regardless what the result of this misguided studies, these so-called scientists can not beat these numbers; therefore their findings are statistically full of holes.

These scientists to tell us all the HIV virus waited for a Haitian host to spread its wings throughout the world, as if the fabric make up of an Haitian DNA is different from any other man alive.

Can anyone smell an ulterior motive here? I wonder who funded their study.... MMMMMMM!!!!!!!

Combating the Negative Implications of Linking AIDS and Haiti

Action Plan
by Stanley Lucas: centurionlucas@gmail.com
Blog: www.solutionshaiti.blogspot.com
October 30, 2007


A University of Miami/Arizona study was recently publicized linking the introduction of AIDS into the US with Haitian immigrants. Not only is the study false, but it perpetuates this cultural stigma and association of Haiti and AIDS. We need to address these allegations quickly and efficiently so that they do not have a chance to sink further into the psyche in the US and do further damage to the reputation of Haiti. The following is a simple 3-step action plan to immediately address this issue.

PHASE I:

DO THE RESEARCH
In the next two days, we need gather information and data in order to factually combat the charges. I suggest we turn to the following sources for data to help shape our message:

Haitian Community in the US

· The association of Haitian doctors living in the United States should take a leading role on this issue. The association should convene a special meeting to outline their plan to combat these claims. Specifically, they could: a) Collect data on the studies of virus HIV in Haiti to help combat the claims that Haiti was the "stepping stone" into the US; and b) solicit the support of John Hopkins University, which has best the team of AIDS researchers in Haiti and works in collaboration with Dr. Reginald Boulos of the CDC.

US Organizations
· USAID should have a lot of data on this issue given their extensive program to combat AIDS in Haiti (note: President Bush made a $51 million grant this year to fight AIDS in Haiti).

· Dr. Paul Farmer of xx can be of assistance to us in fighting this propaganda. He can help the group prepare a strategy to answer the study. He is in the process of writing a rebuttal for Reuters.

PHASE II:
DEVELOP THE MESSAGE
Using the information collected, in the next three days, we need to develop a succinct and powerful message that includes the following elements:

Haiti was not the stepping stone for the spread of AIDS into the US. (backed up with facts from prominent experts).

In fact, these types of studies appeared almost 20 years ago. The Haitian Community in the US was outraged at the allegations and launched an incredible protest. As a result, the CDC came out publicly and confirmed that AIDS was not brought to the US by Haitian immigrants.

There are many programs that help combat the spread of AIDS in Haiti. (cite USAID program and any others). However, more can be done. Much is done in Africa through the Clinton Global Initiative and Bono's One campaign, but little attention is paid to Haiti, a country that is so close to the US.

Haiti, as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is facing many challenges. Unfortunately, much of the news coverage is centered around attacking a country that is already in dire straights. Rather than conducting studies that result in staining the reputation of 8 million people, couldn't this money be spent to help build up the country of Haiti?

PHASE III:
ADVOCACY AND GETTING THE WORD OUT!
Encourage the Haitian Government to engage the US Government on a Strategy and Message Dissemination

· Haitian Members of Parliament should request the support of their counterparts in the US Congress in getting the word out. Specifically, the Congressional Black Caucus should have an interest in defending Haiti and its reputation.

· The Haitian Minister of Health should contact his American counterpart at the CDC to express concern and work together to establish a strategy to counteract this.

· The Preval Administration should engage the Haitian Embassy to answer these allegations. A Washington PR firm is on retainer to the Government of Haiti and should be engaged to help develop and disseminate the message.

Get the Word Out Through As Many Channels As Possible

· Engage Journalists in the US : Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and Labbe of Washington Post are both supportive of Haiti and will be willing to get out the message.

· Engage Haitian Journalists and Radio Stations : The Haitian radio stations in the US should work with credible Haitian American Associations to get the word out on their radio programs.

· Encourage Celebrities and Other Well Known Personalities to Speak Out: Celebrity attention can raise the profile of the issue with certain segments of the population and often draw media attention. Evelyne Danticat (Haitien writer in the United States), Wyclef Jean (artist), Patrick Gilles (Chrysler designer), Senator Raoul Kwame (Illinois)Dr. Dalmacy and others should be engaged.

· Protest at the University of Miami : Students and Haitian Americans should raise the profile of this issue by protesting this study and the release of factually incorrect information.
Stanley Lucas
President
The Haitian Coalition USA

I wonder if Rock Hudson ever slept with any Haitians or what about that poor young teenager Kimberly Bersalis, I suppose her dentist of which intentionally infected her with Aids via contaminated needle; I'm sure he'd be glad to know that his hard earn efforts of finding a cure by infecting a young teenage VIRGIN with this horrible and painful Aids virus finally paid off. It was the Haitians all of the time, is that what their saying. I wonder if that poor young innocent caucasion lady knew any Haitians. Regardless of what anyone or Scott X may have learned on PBS, the notion that Haitians infected Gay French speaking Congo with the Aids virus is just BS. (Reality Check; who would you be more concern about contracting Aids from, a Gay man or Haitians?

I urge you to review the study first-hand yourself prior to jumping to any conclusions about the study's (non-existent) implications over class, race, or perceived social value. The HIV epidemic is incredibly complicated, and sadly, is intermeshed with our own perceptions of the groups that it has affected particularly badly. There are numerous gaps in our knowledge about this virus and its epidemiology. The greater understanding we have of its origins and evolution, the greater the benefit to those who are attempting to control this epidemic through science and education.

HIV has changed as it has moved from its geographic origin into different populations, as well as over time. Several distinct subspecies ("clades") of HIV exist now, and are roughly geographically distributed.

For those who would use these findings to twist into their own particular interests - whether to castigate gays, blame Hatians, or renew old and illogical sterotypes, I would say that this study is not the ideal one for your purposes.

Fascinating discussion!

It shows how science is under assault from all sides in the US.

After all, the Bush administration's compulsive habit of political meddling in science is just part of a larger trend.

Now, political correctness seems to become a requirement for acceptable science.

Scary.

Retroviruses have no cell killing power, and there is still no definition/proof of how "HIV" could cause a destruction of the immune system.

-No proof "HIV" kills t-cels or any other cells.

-all 30 "AIDS" diseases are old diseases such as diarrhea, night sweats, pneumonia, and K.S. all diseases that are caused by sniffing "poppers" and taking other drugs in an extremely profuse manner.

-Magic Johnson's wife tested negative, as did their children.

-Arthur Ashe's wife tested negative as did their children.

-Rock Hudson's lover, Mark Christian, tested negative and reported having sex with Rock hundreds of times.

-Greg Louganis said "the trick is to get off the meds, i thought i was losing my quality of life".

-People are being killed by the meds.

Wake up people.

as Haitian American. i very upset about such as thing like that .i think this a racist against haitian. by the way in 1960 haitian didn't have any access to travel to any country how their brought hiv

When a scientific study is made, it is either correct, or incorrect. The belief that the earth is flat was "proven" scientifically, and then overturned again by science. What is important is our reaction, as a people, to scientific studies.

If a group decides to use this study as ammunition for racist actions, then shame on them.

If a group decides this study was used to target haitians as a people, then shame on them. You need to worry more about how people react to this science -- not worry about how to shut down unpopular science.

If this is the last study on the issue and the scientific community simply holds it as fact and moves on, then shame on them.

If the scientists did this with a motive of placing blame, then shame on them.

If the scientists began this study because of biased thoughts, is that bad? If it leads to bad science, yes. But that's not necessarily evident.

Bad science is easy to overturn. But please do so scientifically, rather than saying the study shouldn't have been done in the first place.

HIV not proven to cause "AIDS".
"AIDS" is a scam.
End the "HIV" lie.
Live in health without "AIDS meds".

HIV not proven to cause "AIDS".
"AIDS" is a scam.
End the "HIV" lie.
Live in health without "AIDS meds".

I haven't read the study yet but I will. However, one clear issue is this: The linkage between Africa and Haiti is based on no evidence only a theory that workers sent to then Zaire brought back the disease. Evidence suggsests that these workers were very immobile - many never returned to Haiti. The numbers were small to begin with. There are many other possibilities > for example, far more mobile French or Belgian government, church / or other staff bringing the disease to Haiti from Francophone Africa. Or airlines personell etc. The other piece that has to be considered is that when you study only Haitian blood samples and then compare them to samples later, you find similiarities. But you don't know if these same similiarities would have existed had access to a broad array of people. I agree with Paul Farmer - this is a big claim to make on very slender evidence. 99% on its face is ridiculous. Life is messier than this. At a minimum, the likelihood is that the virus was being spread in many different directions thru many different channels at the same time.

I haven't read the study yet but I will. However, one clear issue is this: The linkage between Africa and Haiti is based on no evidence only a theory that workers sent to then Zaire brought back the disease. Evidence suggsests that these workers were very immobile - many never returned to Haiti. The numbers were small to begin with. There are many other possibilities > for example, far more mobile French or Belgian government, church / or other staff bringing the disease to Haiti from Francophone Africa. Or airlines personell etc. The other piece that has to be considered is that when you study only Haitian blood samples and then compare them to samples later, you find similiarities. But you don't know if these same similiarities would have existed had access to a broad array of people. I agree with Paul Farmer - this is a big claim to make on very slender evidence. 99% on its face is ridiculous. Life is messier than this. At a minimum, the likelihood is that the virus was being spread in many different directions thru many different channels at the same time.

My dear fellow citizens of the world and thinkers ..

Except for the few who are so viciously neurotically motivated to POLITICIZE everything to the detriment of TIME and ATTENTION spent on the ISSUE at hand .. namely trying from EVERY ANGLE to get to the root of AIDS ..

Except for those few, i feel You are all CORRECT in your observations and opinions, each more eloquently stated that others ..

HAITIANS ARE AWARE of the antiblack and particularly antihaitian attitudes of USAers that is manifested not only on a neighborhood or citywide social level (police, hospitals, soc svcs) .. but also by the USA govt in unabashedly sustaining a state of degradation of human rights and of the human spirit.

Therefore, when a finger draws the attention of the world in a totally negative way to Haiti! .. as the source of the worse Vaudoun spread to the nice pretty white peoples of the happy free and rich western world .. Nostrils Flare!

THE SCIENTIFIC MINDED see that the evidence discovered from these findings and tests .. like any other scientific discovery cannot be contestable on the basis of Political Consideration .. but only by means of the scientific method. It is obvious to them that what was published was a Scientific Observation .. and if true a step closer to understanding the behaviour of this disease devastating mankind.

Therefore, they cannot understand how people here have attributed antiblack or antihaitianity to anything of this whole thing . Yo pa konen anyen.

In my humble opinion: you are both right. But you both stop one step short of the mark:

GRANTED that this was a virus which had always lived only in unaffected monkeys that SOMEHOW* got transferred to the local population in the Congo .. and
GRANTED that only monkeys like to screw monkeys so the first local dudes didn't get it from sex .. and
GRANTED that those people LOVES to eat monkey meat (especially young, tender, and gently roasted) ..

THEN THE QUESTION REMAINS:
Why did it take 500,000 years for the AIDS virus to suddenly jump into the humans from the monkeys who were being eaten all along?

ANSWER TO ALL: The Origins of AIDS in humans is to be found in the belgian labs that existed as outposts of belgian universities in the congo .. SA is another likely source of experimentation in the 1960's. The most ingenious way to "leave" Afrika: taint all the last vials of western medicine with this new unkillable monkey-virus that has already proven so lethal and contagious on x number of our human guinea pigs.

I apologize to the many who will find my suggestions untoward. I have never been one to believe in "conspiracies" .. but since i also believe that the USA followed political anti-human agendas re gay IDS when it hit .. it it easy to take one step back and see that it was in africa first .. and look at africa today.

The epidemeology makes the idea plausable...
But it couldn't be just the Hatians who pick up the bug in the Congo, that said, what other groups of workers worked in the Congo and lets work up the epidemeology ther and see where else this could be true.

Oh, and John from 2:10 - you've go to much time on your hands, try a hobby, something other than blogging, PLEASE!

I really have to say as much as I want to stick up for Haiti because I admire the country's history..it is pretty obvious that the "Haitian" people posting on this site have as much of a bias responding to this study as the scientists are being labeled as being. Not once did anyone state that only Haitians are responsible for this epidemic, just that it came from this region of the world. And so quickly I see people jumping all over this study as if they really have any evidence or credentials to prove otherwise. I'm sorry, but the audacity you have to call anyone a racist or a liar when you yourself are only worried about labels, not what this study could mean for the future.

Wow; Haitians are not being bias in their response but rather defensive, just as the gays were years ago and still are to this day that Aids was a gay disease. The fact of the matter is,regardless of where the fire started; It'll continue to burn until someone if not all of us find a solution to put it out. Whether you be Gay, Straight, Haitian, white, Black, Asian,or Hispanic; if you come in contact via intercourse,hypodermic needle, or open wound, you are most likely to contract the Aids virus.
Thank God I'm Black with a touch of white and Indian in my blood, or I'ld be really teeed off.

I am surprised by everyday by my country, but I really shouldn't be right? All civillizations have been brutal in so many ways, and in this era we use fancy jargon to make our wrongs seem justified. A Jena High school superintendant calls a noose in a tree a prank, refugees risk their lives in small boat unsuitable for use only to be sent back, their are fabulously wealthy people out there while at the same time 16,000 children die from complications due to starvation.

Everytime I hear about mankind's history of horros-both past and present I alienate myself more from the people who celebrate their ignorance (like Sunny did in his above statement)

A part of me in angry, a part wants to change things, and the majority wants to just worry about my own life like the rest of these myspaced generation that cares about nothing more than the colors on the profile page.

Why does so much attention go to news stories like this? He said he was interested in finding a cure, Dr. Woobley was really looking for trouble.

All this research has done is reopened the wounds of the Haitian people, continued to perpetuate stereotypes, and will likely be proven wrong in the future because their is other scientific studies that have shown AIDS to come from US and then to Haiti.

That never makes the news though, thanks to corporate bosses.

I can't wait to change the world, in fact, I do it every day by making it my own responsibility to get acurate news and to criticly analyze the types of data Dr. Woobley and his team has put together.

I stand with the Haitian people, no matter what.

It really doesn't matter to me where AIDS came from, I'd rather us know how to cure it. 63 million have died from in in Africa alone.

Besides, its no secret (or maybe it is from the general public) which place Haiti or the US has gotten screwed worse by the other.

The US wins in the history of horrors.

We are like the new Rome.

PEACE OUT

I'm amazed! There are really people out there who think that research scientists, who have wended their way through universities and much, much data, who have a world of disease out there to conquer, really just sit around inventing ways to criticize Haiti...? And they do it because they have nothing else to think about other than how they despise poor little countries and black people...?

Oh wow. I thought I'd heard everything!

The comments to this entry are closed.