Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 02 June, 1997

MATILDE KRIM'S AIDS-ORIGINS-THEORY
Strangely Mum Since Her 1980's Comments
Two Takes On A Suspicious Mystery

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday



 

Following GayToday's recent second-in-a-weekly-series on suspect AIDS-origins, a Texas reader contacted Badpuppy's offices. ( See Archives Health features: "Government Guinea Pigs." Also, see part one and part three of the series, "AIDS As a Man-Made Plague" and "Queer Blood") Though the aforementioned Texas reader gave his actual name, he requests anonymity because of the controversial nature of his comments:

Dear GayToday:

A very good article on testing done ("Government Guinea Pigs") by the U.S. Government

It brought to mind a conversation I had with a researcher with the Sloan-Kettering Hospital in 1985 or 1986 in Austin, Texas at a conference on AIDS.

At a dinner we had here for some of the speakers, I sat next to two people from this hospital. The question was being asked around why all of a sudden we had this epidemic. I don't recall all of the conversation but I was really shocked at the answer that one of the people gave me.

She told me that during the late 1960's and 1970's, several drug companies were trying to make a vaccine on Hepatitis. The vaccine was being made with blood bought on a world market, and a lot of the blood came from Africa. At that time, none of the drug companies even knew what HIV was and less of how to test for it. When the companies felt comfortable with the vaccine, they chose a group that had a high incidence of Hepatitis to test and market it to. This group was gay men in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. I think she may have named a few other cities. She said that it was her take on why the sudden emergence of the epidemic. I also remember that she said that it was just her theory, and any good proof would be locked away somewhere in the drug company files.

I don't know if there is any significance to this story, but you might file it away in your papers. I don't believe much in conspiracies, but you never know. I was so surprised that I still remember it.

About a year earlier, maybe 1983, I took my friend Wayne to my doctor to get the new hepatitis vaccine. I did not want to get it, because I had just gotten a gamma gobulin shot a few weeks earlier. About 20 minutes after Wayne got the shot, be broke out in a rash all over his body, and began to get sick. We immediately went back to the doctor, and they called the drug company and they told him what to do over the phone.

He never felt well after that, and died six months later of AIDS. This is why the incident at the conference was so shocking to me.

I guess this is just for what its worth. I don't know if there is really any significance to it.

If you want to talk with me, you can call me at ______. That's Austin, Texas. I think the year was 1985 or 1986. Not later. The conference was in Austin, Texas and was part of AIDS Awareness Week. For your information. (Signed)______________.

P.S. I now remember the lady's name. I think it was Hilda Krimm or Matilda Crimm or Matilda Krimm. She was a very nice older lady.

GayToday remained unable this week to reach Ms. Matilde Krim In New York for a reply. However, contact was made in Los Angeles with Dr. Alan Cantwell, Jr. about the foregoing commentary and he referred GayToday to his book, AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic. Therein he discusses Dr. Krim's 1980's reflections. In the decade since publication of Dr. Cantwell's remarks, Dr. Matilde Krim has remained strangely silent about AIDS origins-theories. Dr. Cantwell writes:

"By 1987 a few scientists like Matilde Krim publicly theorized that a biological accident could have initiated the AIDS epidemic in gay men. In a published conversation with Larry Kramer (Interview Magazine, February 1987), Krim speculated that AIDS could have originated from virus-contaminated batches of "gamma globulin" which were inoculated into gay men for the purpose of protecting them from hepatitus virus inflection.

Krim is a well-known AIDS expert and cancer virologist associated with Sloan-Kettering Hospital in Manhattan. She is also co-chairperson of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFar).

In the interview, Krim tries to dispel the notion that gay men were the cause of AIDS in America. She explains that, "We probably gave it to gay men to start with, by inoculating them with infected gamma globulin, which is probably what happened." Krim postulates that gamma globulin in the early 1970's was made from "pooled" human blood brought in from Africa and the Caribbean.

At first, Krim (like Strecker) suspected that contaminated experimental hepatitis vaccine used in the New York City trials in gay men might have exposed them to the AIDS virus. But after "checking the dates" of the trials, she reasoned that "these trials started in '78 and '79." She dismissed the hepatitis connection because "that's too late; we already had cases then. The (AIDS) infection occurred at least five years prior to that...in the early 1970's."

Krim speculates, "The for-profit blood industry was buying blood from prisoners and from overseas, including Africa and the Caribbean." She reasons that the gamma globulin may not have been properly prepared and purified to kill the AIDS virus.

Kramer asked Krim why only gay men were initially inflected with the AIDS virus. She replied, "No other group was so constantly, almost habitually, given gamma globulin, as gay men."

Krim maintains she is the only scientist who theorizes a gamma globulin connection to AIDS. She also claims she never heard the question "why gay men?" that every thinking homosexual has asked himself since the beginning of the "gay" plague.

The gamma globulin theory is food for thought, but it is unlikely that gay men were the exclusive recipients of gamma globulin, and equally improbable that only Manhattan gays would have received the "contaminated" batches. Furthermore, if African and Caribbean blacks and prisoners harbored the AIDS virus in their blood that eventually made its way into commercial gamma globulin, why weren't any of them dying from AIDS in the early and mid-1970's?

THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE FIRST AIDS CASES IN AMERICA WERE DIAGNOSED IN GAYS IN MANHATTAN, A FEW MONTHS AFTER THE HEPATITUS B VACCINE TRIALS BEGAN IN MANHATTAN. If any of those men were directly injected and infected with the AIDS virus during the vaccine trials, they could have developed the disease quickly or could have sexually transmitted the virus to other gays. This could explain why AIDS started exclusively in New York City gays shortly after the experimental trials."

(Exerpted from AIDS and the Doctors of Death by Alan Cantwell, Jr., M.D., and published by ARIES Rising Press, P.O. Box 29532, Los Angeles, California 90029. Phone: 213-462-6458)

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