Im glad none of you accused me of joking or exaggerating when I told this story:

A *very* common exchange I have with the general public regarding HIV-1:

Person– Where did HIV-1 come from?
Me– HIV-1 is related to a virus we can find in African primates, SIV. SIV crossed over from chimpanzees to the human population to make ‘HIV’ sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s. This event happened at least three times, giving us the three groups of HIV-1, Groups M, N, and O, however it most likely has occurred numerous times over the course of human evolution, it just never lead to a pandemic like what we have with HIV-1 today. You can go get blood samples from African hunters right now and find viruses not found in any other human.
Person– *makes a face* From eating monkeys? It wasnt from (whispers) having sex with monkeys?
Me– I seriously doubt it. People in other parts of the world hunt and eat monkeys the same way we hunt and eat deer. Technically, I would actually bet it would be easier to have sex with an unwilling deer than an unwilling chimpanzee. Opposable thumbs and like twice the strength of a human and such.

Because this guy, Stacey Campfield, a state Senator in Tennessee, just demonstrated this misconception for everyone:

“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community,” he told Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts a radio program on SiriusXM OutQ. “It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”

As much as I would like to make fun of this guy, and as stupid as his statements were, I have to reiterate, what he said is a very common misconception here in the US. I have to reiterate:

This observation isnt meant as social commentary, but I do think its *REALLY* funny that some people think it is more believable that we got HIV-1 from having sex with chimpanzees, than from eating chimpanzees. Some yall is messed up. LOL!

Messed up, but very common. So let me use that assholes comments as ‘a teachable moment’.

Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community

HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS, came from a colony of chimpanzees in Cameroon in the late 1800s, early 1900s. The virus was originally introduced into the homosexual community in the US via an unlucky founder event. However in the areas where HIV is an epidemic, and in the US present day, heterosexual women are the group hardest hit.

It was one guy screwing a monkey

People in Africa hunt non-human primates for food the same way we hunt deer for food. Because of our genetic similarity to these non-human primates, zoonotic events where the hunters and his immediate family are infected with a non-human pathogen are relatively common. However human-to-human transmission is more rare. That being said, SIV transferred from chimpanzees to humans at least three times (HIV-1 Group M, N, and O) and from sooty mangabeys at least once (HIV-2). It probably occurred many times, but did not lead to an epidemic due to 1) chance, and 2) lack of a globalized society.

and then having sex with men

The most likely scenareo is that male hunter went to the city and had sex with a female prostitute, who had sex with local men as well as visiting colonists from other countries capitalizing on Africas copper belt, and then it got spread all over Africa and all around the world, thanks to a global society.

It was an airline pilot

No, but humans ability to travel by air did facilitate the spread of HIV-1.

it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex

The most recent transmission rates–
MTF: 0.0019 (once every 525 sexual encounters).
FTM: 0.0010 (once every 1000 encounters).

Using condoms decreases the risk. Keeping viral loads low with antiretrovirals also decreases risk. And obviously, those numbers are statistics, not reality. They dont mean a woman can have unprotected sex with an HIV-1 positive partner 524 times and not be infected, nor does is mean that a guy can have sex with an HIV-1 infected prostitute a few times and not be infected. Heterosexuals are infected with HIV-1 all the time.

Men, women, children, of all ages, can and do get infected with HIV-1.

It is not ‘virtually impossible’.

People with a cavalier attitude about HIV infection like Stacey are the ones helping HIV-1 spread with misinformation (if they arent spreading it personally themselves).

But just in case you think this statement was the end of Staceys idiocy… it was not. Behold this golden turd:

“A lot of people trying to gloss over and say it’s an every-person disease but really it’s just those high-risk people that are most likely to contract or spread that disease. “The odds of a regular man getting it from a regular woman are very low,” he said.

We asked, “What do you mean by ‘regular?'”

He said, “someone who is not from Africa, someone who is not a homosexual, someone who is not an IV drug user, someone who is not sleeping with someone who is one of those things.”

Lets just ignore the fact Stacey is compounding the stigma that HIV/AIDS is a ‘dirty’ disease that only dirty people get. Lets walk right up the gem Stacey presented us with: “Hi! Im Stacey Campfield! And I want to make it 100% clear that I am really, really racist and homophobic by declaring in a very public way that Africans and homosexuals are NOT ‘regular’.”

ROFL! I mean WTF, dude! WTF is the matter with you?? Did your mom do IV drugs while she was pregnant with you or something?? WTF LOL!!! And lets just get this out there– for a TOTALLY NOT GAY guy, Stacey sure spends a lot of time focused on homosexuality. If only someone had protected you from hearing about homosexuality when you were young, you might not be having these ‘dirty’ not ‘regular’ feeling, eh Stacey? Yeah Imajustgonna start this ‘Countdown to Haggard Town’ clock over here…

Stacey, if you lock yourself in a closet, you probably wont get infected with HIV. But dont be surprised if you call a radio show from your safe closet and people think you are a friggen weirdo.

Comments

  1. #1 Tommykey
    January 30, 2012

    “It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

    He must be having a vague recollection of “And The Band Played On”, which IIRC identified a promiscuous gay French-Canadian flight attendant as Patient X.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ga%C3%ABtan_Dugas

    “However, a number of authorities have since voiced reservations about the implications of the CDC Patient Zero study, and characterisations of Dugas as being responsible for bringing HIV to cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the patient zero study, the average length of time between sexual contact and the onset of symptoms was 10.5 months.[2] At the time of the study it was not known that the average length of time between initial infection and AIDS is ten years. While Shilts’s book does not make such an allegation, the rumour that Dugas was the principal disseminator of the virus became widespread. In 1988, Andrew R. Moss published an opposing view in the New York Review of Books.[7]”

  2. #2 Justicar
    January 30, 2012

    Fuck. Don’t have to ERV threads open simultaneously; else, you’ll post the wrong comment on the wrong thread. Ahem, sorry for the double commenting:

    So Stacey is totally not gay? So is Ted Haggard. Observe the phenomenon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

  3. #3 Russell
    January 30, 2012

    Wouldn’t the risk more be in preparing the kill, than in eating the chimpanzee? That’s when the hunter or bush meat merchant or cook would be most exposed to infected blood. What’s left of the virus, after the meat is cooked?

  4. #4 Justicar
    January 30, 2012

    What’s left of the virus, after the meat is cooked?

    A delicious snack!

    In my last comment, that should have read ‘two’ not ‘to’. Damn you, Mrs. Malaprop!

  5. #5 Prometheus
    January 30, 2012

    Russell@#3

    “Wouldn’t the risk more be in preparing the kill, than in eating the chimpanzee? That’s when the hunter or bush meat merchant or cook would be most exposed to infected blood.”

    In cultures where people are dependent on hunting the field dress often includes the immediate raw consumption of the liver and or kidneys.

    So, yes.

    Even in contexts where hunting has become a sort of stylized decorous pest control, putting blood on the face of the initiate or lead hunter happens.

    We are so removed from the idea of where meat comes from that the idea of a monkey fucking Canadian flight attendant turned bar star seems more plausible to the Booboisie.

  6. #6 chezjake
    January 30, 2012

    A Knoxville restaurant has refused to serve Campfield because of his remarks and the anti-gay bill he has proposed.
    http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/01/30/Tenneessee_Senator_Thrown_Out_of_Restaurant_for_Antigay_Stance/

  7. #7 dustbubble
    January 30, 2012

    “Not regular”, eh?
    Stacey’s a girl’s name, round ‘ere.
    Strictly chavette, too.
    I’d rather be called Sue. Or Marion.

    (/baboon-style ad hom.)

  8. #8 Vince Whirlwind
    January 30, 2012

    According to avert.org, only 11% of men suffering from AIDS acquired it through heterosexual contact (including, presumably, anybody who didn’t admit to any homosexual contacts).

    The fact is, it isn’t common for heterosexuals to hang around in public toilets sharing AIDS with strangers the way homosexuals do. A bit less denialism about the outcomes of homosexual culture and a bit more condemnation of immoral (and tasteless – WhoTF would want to have sex in a toilet?) behaviour could make a big difference.

  9. #9 Tommykey
    January 30, 2012

    The fact is, it isn’t common for heterosexuals to hang around in public toilets sharing AIDS with strangers the way homosexuals do.

    Well, maybe if we had unisex bathrooms…

  10. #10 dustbubble
    January 30, 2012

    I lived across the road from the toilet in “Trainspotting” for a few years.
    That (social housing) scheme was Ground Zero for “ra Virus” in the UK.
    Not a gayster amang them a’.

    Horribly common in young mothers, IIRC. Playground chat among the mums waiting after school, even after I flitted “Uptown”, occasionally you’d hear stuff along the lines of
    “Ashleigh no’ comin’?”
    “Na, Jordan’s gettin’ picked up bi her nana”
    “How?”
    “Virus is right bad noo, she’s mebbes gonny dee”.
    Apart from a bit of tutting and sucking of teeth (and fags (which come in packs of 20, none of yer nonsense!)) and ritual declarations of “That’s terrrrrrible“, nobody turned a hair.

  11. #11 Stannum
    January 30, 2012

    I’m sure this is how feline immunodeficiency virus got started…: http://i.imgur.com/HNcDR.jpg

  12. #12 Prometheus
    January 30, 2012

    Vince Whirlwind@#8

    “A bit less denialism about the outcomes of homosexual culture and a bit more condemnation of immoral (and tasteless – WhoTF would want to have sex in a toilet?) behaviour could make a big difference.”

    Now now, let’s not be narrow of vision.

    Half the kids in New Jersey (and Staten Island for that matter) were probably conceived in the bathrooms of Seaside Heights’ many charming Olive Garden restaurants.

    I believe monkey fucking is the theme here and provided we give enough latitude to the non-human primate category, the shaved orangutan sex-slave trade, as of the last recorded incident, was strictly a heterosexual male amusement.

    People are gross. If you want to try and parse that out into gender preference categories I would suggest that your aversion is probably act-specific as opposed to considerations of heterosexuality and homosexuality.

    Translation: You have an overdeveloped sensitivity to the idea of buttfuckery.

    Hmmmmm. Have a sit down and tell us about that.

    *lights pipe*

    *clicks pen*

  13. #13 JKR
    January 31, 2012

    @Vince, #8

    That you are so confidently willing to correlate sexual orientation with preference for fluid swapping near toilets and call it a “fact” indicates to me you have expert level first hand knowledge of homosexual behaviors near toilets. And any self respecting science man such as yourself must have done some controls.

    So why so much self hate? You must gotten off one way or another, so relax and reminisce if you feel so tense.

  14. #14 Ben
    January 31, 2012

    With the rates of non-human primate to human transmission (which must be much lower than the human to human rates), every damn pilot landing on my beloved continent since the arrival of cross-continental air travel must have been a monkey-raping knob-gobbling cock-juggler.

    I, for one, am sick of you flamboyant, airplane flying faggot pilots flying over here and ass-fucking our monkeys. You can’t go on a game drive without accidentally stumbling on a poor chimpanzee being pinned down by a light-skinned fellow in an exquisitely tailored pilot’s uniform. You make me want to smoke.

  15. #15 dustbubble
    January 31, 2012

    #14 Ben:
    ” ..can’t go on a game drive without accidentally stumbling on a poor chimpanzee being pinned down by a light-skinned fellow in an exquisitely tailored pilot’s uniform.”

    Ah. I wondered where Sir David Attenborough had got to?

    Apparently that absurd uniform he favoured is a “safari-suit” or some such. Very ’70s.
    Button-fly, quite tricky when the occasion demands.

  16. #16 OWE
    January 31, 2012

    I think it is in Stacey’s logic to assume that FIV exists because of gay tomcats having sex with gay tomcats. As condoms are not an option, all cats need to be more faithful!

    Of course, SIV is here as a reminder of gay sex between monkeys. This has to stop and there will be no SIV.

    And maybe HIV was initially meant to stop immoral gay chimpanzees from having sex with other immoral gay chimpanzees. As this does not work well HIV is now supposed to stop immoral gay humans from having sex.

    Furthermore, there seems to be too much gay sex or IV drug users in cattle, as there has been a BIV (bovine immunodeficiency virus) described. Gay sex is the problem!

    I stumbled upon some pictures on the web showing male giraffes having sex. Very, very immoral! Imagine some innocent young tourists seeing this and becoming confused about their own sexuality? We need someone like Stacey to go down to Africa to make it clear to these giraffes (and stags and penguins and all the other homosexual animals out there) that such a behaviour is unnatural! Or they will be punished with a giraffe immunodeficiency virus (deer immunodeficiency virus/penguin immunodeficiency virus etc)soon! They will certainly stop.

    OWE

  17. #17 Joe
    February 1, 2012
  18. #18 dustbubble
    February 1, 2012

    Joe@17: .. a-a-aand embezzling. As night follows day, man, as night follows day ..

    Good link on ‘The Scientist’ there.
    Fakin ur slidez.
    WTF is up with Abbie, all the cool kids is doin’ it now, ‘cept her.

  19. #19 czfinke
    February 1, 2012

    Abbie.
    Love your blog.

    Can you explain what an ‘unlucky founder event’ is? Two sentences will do, if possible.

    word.

  20. #20 Brandon
    February 1, 2012

    Imagine my surprise at finding Campfield to be Republican and a conservative Catholic. You’d never associate those traits with an astonishing level of ignorance… nope, sure wouldn’t…

  21. #21 Woden
    February 3, 2012

    czfinke:

    I would imagine that an unlucky founder event, in this instance, just means that it was mostly just dumb luck that introduced the virus (within the U.S.) predominantly into the homosexual community at first.

    Of course, it could also be a founder event which was unlucky, but that doesn’t seem to fit the context. :)

  22. #22 Nomen Nescio
    February 3, 2012

    …it only just now occurred to me that since chimpanzees still harbor SIV and the world isn’t getting less globalized, it’s probably just a matter of time before we get HIV-1 groups P, Q, and R. i think, anyway. how i hope i’m wrong about it, but i don’t think i am, am i?

  23. #23 czfinke
    February 3, 2012

    thanks wooden.
    that’s what I was presuming. But, as this is not my area of expertise, as they say, I wanted to check my presumption against those who are more knowledgeable than I.

  24. #25 Snout
    February 4, 2012

    …it only just now occurred to me that since chimpanzees still harbor SIV and the world isn’t getting less globalized, it’s probably just a matter of time before we get HIV-1 groups P, Q, and R. i think, anyway. how i hope i’m wrong about it, but i don’t think i am, am i?

    No, you’re not wrong.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21084486

    Group “M” stands for “major”; “O” for “outlier”; “N” for “not M or O”; and “P” for “putative” (although now a second case has been identified they’ll probably have to change that to “pretty rare”).

    I wonder what “Q” will stand for when it’s discovered.

  25. #26 Durt
    July 29, 2012

    Re: Public Toilet Gay Sex

    Let’s see…

    1) You can’t openly date anyone. Your friends and family would drop you like a hot potato, the minute they find out
    .
    2) There’s bars, a reasonably safe enough environment for meeting new people. But no. Cops keep raiding it, politicos keep shutting them down. And getting caught = jail time and your friends and family will drop you like a hot potato.

    3) Chance meetings with your dream partner? Nope. Too many things could go wrong. Admit to the wrong guy you’re gay and you’d end up paraplegic.

    And you wonder why gay men in the previous decades had to resort to toilets and public parks? Desperate times, desperate measures. After all, when “morality” needs a boost, it will always find ways to invent its own demons.

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