- TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi has accused the United States of having manufactured
the AIDS virus and urged it to take responsibility for care of millions
of people infected with the disease.
- "America manufactured the AIDS virus in its military
laboratories and it must take the responsibility for the treatment of AIDS
victims," he said September 1.
- Gaddafi was addressing the People's General Congress,
Libya's top executive and legislative body, on the 32nd anniversary of
the coup d'etat that brought him to power.
- "Evidence exists now that America set off the AIDS
virus when it launched its bacterial defense programs in the early 1980s,"
- The origins of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, remain
a medical mystery. It is widely accepted that the virus was first transmitted
from chimpanzees to humans, but no one is certain how, or when, this happened.
- UNAIDS says some 36 million people are infected with
AIDS and nearly 22 million have died since the beginning of the epidemic.