AIDS Conspiracy Theories That'll Piss You Off

Where did AIDS come from? The generally accepted origins makes a lot of sense. It's believed that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (SIV) was transmitted to humans when people hunted chimps for meat and came in contact with their infected blood. Once in the human blood stream, the disease morphed into HIV.

While that makes perfect sense, there are still those who believe in crazy (and not always so crazy) conspiracy theories and urban legends about HIV and AIDS. The list below contains some of the craziest AIDS conspiracies, including various ideas about where HIV originated. Some of them are completely logical, but others are so out of line you have to wonder how anybody believes in them. 

  • Dr. Robert Gallo Created AIDS to Deliberately Depopulate Humanity

    What if the chimpanzee story is all a lie told to divert attention away from the fact that the HIV/AIDS Virus is man-made? If you believe that theory, then all of your hate should be directed toward Dr. Robert Gallo, the man who invented AIDS.

    From 1962 until 1978, Dr. Robert Gallo was a part of the American government's Special Virus program. As per this theory, HIV/AIDS was created because the government was determined to find a virus particle that would destroy the immune system. Sadly, it looks like they succeeded. For more about Dr. Gallo, check out this handy video outlining what a monster he supposedly is.

    It should be noted that Gallo was the co-discoverer of HIV, so really this is just a case of "whoever smelt it, dealt it."
  • The CIA Created AIDS to Wipe Out Homosexuals and African Americans

    One of the more popular AIDS conspiracy theories suggests the CIA created AIDS to wipe out homosexuals and African Americans. This isn't a casually dismissed theory; several high-ranking individuals have gone on record saying it's completely true. South African President Thabo Mbeki ignored the claims that the virus got its start in Africa and instead accused the US of manufacturing it in labs. Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai agreed with the theory. This theory generally traces back to Nixon, who rolled the US Army biowarfare department into the National Cancer Institute in 1971
  • There's a Cure, But Only for Rich People

    There's a Cure, But Only for Rich People
    Photo: pennstatenews / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Forget laughter, money is the best medicine. When Magic Johnson announced in 1991 that he had contracted HIV and would retire from the NBA, it was a huge blow to basketball fans, but provided a major boost in awareness for dealing with the disease. Johnson also helped destigmatize HIV/AIDS, which was thought of as exclusively affecting the gay community. 

    Of course, Magic Johnson is still alive in 2016, which has caused quite a few raised eyebrows. His continued healthy living has lead many to think that there actually is a cure for HIV/AIDS, but it's kept hidden from the general public, and is only for the rich and famous. Maybe Charlie Sheen will provide the ultimate test case. 
  • Operation INFEKTION Was All About Misinformation from Russia

    This isn't so much a conspiracy theory as much as a reason why a lot of conspiracy theories around AIDS exist. Naturally, we can blame it all on Russia. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, the Soviets set forth a campaign called Operation INFEKTION, with the goal of spreading lies that the United States was directly responsible for creating the AIDS virus. It was a sinister plan that still has many convinced the US purposefully made the virus. Or...maybe the United States just made up Operation INFEKTION to cover their tracks. 
  • The Extent and Danger of HIV Is Blown Out of Proportion

    HIV does not cause AIDS. Apparently, that's the train of thought behind this theory, which suggests that people are over-hyping HIV as a way to instill fear in the gay population and help contraception manufacturers make money. It's a dumb theory, and it should make you angry. 
  • It Was Created to Fight Cancer

    You ever start cooking in the kitchen, but botch some ingredients and suddenly wind up with something completely different than what you wanted? That's the basis for this theory, which again paints Nixon as the mastermind behind AIDS.

    For this theory though, the creation of AIDS was an accident. Some say that it was initially created to help fight cancer, but soon spiraled out of control. Instead of admitting to their mistake, the US government covered it up. This theory is so widely believed because the emergence of AIDS and government cancer treatment groups happened around the same time.