'Gay Cancer'
And The Man-Made Origin Of AIDS
By Dr. Alan Cantwell, MD
A Rense World Exclusive
©2006 Alan Cantwell, M.D

Twenty-five years ago in June 1981 a new epidemic of transmissible cancer, in the form of Kaposi's sarcoma, was uncovered in young gay American men with acquired immune deficiency disease (AIDS). In 1984 the cause of the AIDS was determined to be a new virus called HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus), now considered to be "the sole cause of AIDS."
A decade later, in 1994, yet another "new virus" was claimed as the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), the so-called "gay cancer" of AIDS. KS skin tumors were the hallmark of the "gay-related immune deficiency syndrome" when it first appeared in male homosexuals in Manhattan in the late 1970s. After a quarter century the precise origin of HIV, as well as the origin of the KS epidemic, remains mysterious.
With the discovery of the KS virus, it is now clear that two new viruses were introduced to produce what was initially regarded as the "gay plague". How were two new viruses (HIV and the KS virus) simultaneously "introduced" into gays to produce AIDS?
The origin of Kaposi's Sarcoma
Before the epidemic, KS was a rare cancer in the U.S. The KS virus -now called the human herpes-8 virus (HHV-8) or the Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV)- is now widely accepted as the cause of most cases of KS.
KS was first described in 1872 in Vienna, by Hungarian dermatologist Moriz Kaposi. Before the epidemic KS was a rare and usually mild form of cancer occasionally tumors in elderly Jewish and Italian-American men. The cancer was never considered a contagious, infectious, or sexually transmitted disease. KS in African-Americans was as rare as hen's teeth before AIDS appeared in the late 1970s.
In the 1960s KS was recognized as a common tumor in blacks in Central Africa. However, the African form of KS was not associated with the severe immunodeficiency characteristic of AIDS, nor was it sexually transmissible, and HIV was not found in these patients.
KS is a medical enigma. [1] How did KS become a transmissible epidemic disease in gays? How did the KS herpes virus escape detection during the first 15 years of the epidemic? Why did the KS virus and HIV suddenly appear together in the late 1970s to produce a "gay-related immunodeficiency disease?" How could cancer be "gay"?
Were these two simultaneous epidemics in gay men simply caused by two viruses out of the African jungle? Or was the hand of man - in the form of medical experimentation - responsible for the "introduction" of these viruses into the male homosexual community?
The two epidemics of AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma
At the beginning of the epidemic many virologists thought KS might be caused by a transmissible herpes virus called the cytomegalovirus (CMV), which purportedly was found in the semen of gay men. However, when Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute discovered HIV in April 1984, interest in CMV waned.
After the KS virus was discovered in 1994, it was also found in other forms of cancer, such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
KS virus infection is no longer rare; and most people infected with the virus will never develop KS cancer tumors. However, when people are infected with HIV and the KS virus, KS tumors can occur. The KS herpes virus is considered a "helper virus," which encourages the development of KS cancer in HIV-infected people.
Researchers are still not exactly sure how the KS virus is transmitted. Mouth-to-mouth transmission, such as kissing, is believed to be the primary mode of spread. But kissing is hardly limited to homosexuals. Some studies have found the virus in the semen of KS patients, while other studies have not confirmed this. In Central Africa, where KS is endemic, children can become infected with the KS virus early in life before sexual activity occurs.
When AIDS began it was thought that "gay cancer" was similar to the more severe endemic form of KS found in Africa. However, as noted, African KS cases were HIV-negative and were not immunosuppressed. Some investigators have attempted to uncover the origin of AIDS by re-examining "old cases" of African KS. But AIDS, by definition, must be infection with HIV. Therefore, pre-AIDS KS cases have no connection to the origin of AIDS.
The epidemic of "Gay Cancer" exclusively in homosexuals
After the introduction of HIV and the KS virus into the U.S. gay male population in the late 1970s, the incidence of KS skyrocketed.
A 1989 report by Biggar et al. found no cases of KS in young men in New York City during the years 1973-1976. However, by 1985 the incidence of KS in "never-married men" in Manhattan had increased 1850 times; and in San Francisco the rate of KS increased over 2000 times! [2]
KS is now 20,000 times more common in AIDS patients than in the general population. Currently, the CDC claims that KS occurs in only 15% of gay men with AIDS (down from 30% at the beginning of the epidemic).
Separating the HIV epidemic from the KS epidemic
When stored blood samples of gays followed for HIV infection were re-examined by epidemiologists in 1999, it was reported that more than 20% of a group of 245 homosexual men from New York were infected with the KS herpes virus as early as 1982. [3]
Some experts now claim the epidemic of KS in gay men arose separately from the epidemic of HIV; and KS is thought to be an unrelated and distinct epidemic. However, the vital question of how two new viruses (HIV and the KS virus) were introduced exclusively and simultaneously into homosexual men is never raised. It is simply theorized that both the KS virus and HIV are "ancestor viruses" of primates in the African bush that jumped species to infect the human population.
The Virus Cancer Program and biological warfare research
In the decade before AIDS, animal retroviruses (similar to HIV) and herpes viruses (similar to the KS virus) were extensively transferred between animal species as part of the Virus Cancer Program (1968-1980). The annual "Progress Reports" of the VCP details the animal cancer research and the genetic engineering of animal viruses.
In 1969 a military biowarfare expert predicted to U.S congressmen that a biological agent could be developed within a decade that would have a devastating effect on the human immune system and for which there would be no effective treatment. (For details Google: "Donald M MacArthur " + congressional testimony.)
Military biological warfare research became officially connected to VCP research on October 18, 1971, when President Richard Nixon permanently joined the Army's biowarfare research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, with the National Cancer Institute. The army lab was renamed the Frederick Cancer Research Center.
Scientists in the VCP wanted to learn how to use animal viruses to make cancer - and how to force "normal" human cells to become cancerous by subjecting them to various animal viruses. A primary task was the large scale production of cancer-causing viruses and suspected cancer viruses to meet research VCP needs on a continuing basis. Special attention was given to primate viruses (the alleged African source of HIV and the KS virus). Another goal was the production of "human candidate viruses." Candidate viruses were defined as animal or human viruses that might cause cancer in humans.
Biowarfare scientists had a keen interest in animal herpes "helper viruses" (1978 VCP Report;p 54). Chimps (who purportedly carry the ancestor virus of HIV) were extensively used by the VCP because there would be no official testing of cancer viruses on humans.
As biowarfare expert MacArthur predicted, the VCP created new cancer-causing viruses which had a deadly effect on the immune system. In one experiment recorded in the 1973 Report (p169), and later published in Cancer Research in 1974, newborn chimps were taken away from their mothers at birth and weaned on milk from cancer virus-infected cows. Essentially "AIDS" was created in animals. Some of the chimps sickened and died with two diseases that had never been observed in chimpanzees: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (later known as the "gay pneumonia" of AIDS) and leukemia, a cancer of the blood.
Because of the dangerous transfer of primate viruses into human cells, the VCP was a biological disaster waiting to happen. This possibility was recorded in the 1978 VCP report from the Office of Biohazard Safety stating: "The inadequate care and handling of animals during the past several years have created a potential for the occurrence of infection of humans with simian (primate) microorganisms and cross infection between species. Such interspecies disease transmission may seriously compromise the integrity of the experiment as well as the health of the experimenter. Due to the magnitude of biomedical research employing tissue cultures, frequent evaluation of tissue culture cross-contamination is very important."
A decade before Gallo discovered HIV, he reported a "new" and "human" and cancer-causing "HL-23 virus" that later turned out to be not one but three contaminating primate viruses (gibbon-ape virus, simian sarcoma virus, and baboon endogenous virus). How these three primate viruses contaminated Gallo's lab is unknown.
As late as 1986 Max Essex of Harvard "discovered" a new human
AIDS retrovirus found in the blood of healthy Africans. Eventually this virus
proved to be a monkey virus which traced back to a nearby primate colony in Massachusetts. In the first decade of AIDS Gallo and Essex were the leading proponents of the African green monkey theory of origin of AIDS.
In 1999 a team of researchers led by Beatrice Hahn (who worked in Gallo's lab when he proposed the green monkey theory) also claimed HIV traced back to chimpanzees in the African wild. This finding was quickly accepted as the true origin of HIV and AIDS; and the discovery was widely heralded in the media.
Did a KS virus originate from laboratory primate viruses?
A decade before AIDS, monkey cancer-causing viruses were adapted to human cells. In 1967 Herpesvirus saimiri, a harmless squirrel monkey virus closely related to the new KS herpes virus, was forced into different animals, such as the owl monkey, marmosets and rabbits, where it produced cancer in the form of malignant lymphoma. Lymphoma is a common cancer in AIDS patients; and there is also a close relationship between KS and lymphoma.
In 1971 Dharam V Ablashi of the NCI transferred H. saimiri into various cell lines of human origin. (1971;35). Attempts were made "to find a suitable method for the large-scale production of high-titer Herpesvirus saimiri" (1973;264). By 1976 it was also learned that H.saimiri was contagious and spread by "contact transmission" between squirrel and owl monkeys in the laboratory.
The Virus Cancer Program and secret human experimentation
A 1972 VCP Report (p. 262) emphatically states: "Since man will not be used as an experimental recipient, it is necessary to gain proof of oncogenicity by other means." How that "proof" would be obtained was never made clear.
With its close ties to military biowarfare research it is conceivable that the VCP undertook covert human testing of suspected cancer-causing viruses. The U.S. military has a long history of secret human experimentation on unsuspecting citizens. (Google: secret human experimentation + military). Were gay men used as guinea pigs to test the effects of these viruses?
In 1977 Merck and Co, Inc. made most of the experimental hepatitis B vaccine used in gays the following year. Merck's role in the VCP was "to conduct investigations designed to develop vaccines or other agents effective for the prophylaxis and therapy for human neoplasia (cancer) of suspected viral etiology" (1972 report; p 139).
Merck also wanted to develop an anti-herpes virus vaccine. Merck researchers stated: "Since live attenuated or killed virus vaccines for potentially oncogenic viruses would not be acceptable for human use due to the danger of transfer of functional genetic material, this project was initiated to determine whether vaccines to purified viral antigens acceptable for use in humans were of practical value." (1977;160) This proposed "purified" herpes vaccine was similar in type to the experimental "purified" hepatitis B vaccine injected into gays the following year in 1978.
"Gay cancer" and man-made laboratory "helper viruses"
The herpes KS virus is a "helper virus" which promotes cancer, particularly when combined with HIV. In the decade before AIDS it was discovered that some cancer-causing animal sarcoma viruses could not produce cancer unless a "helper virus" was present. For example, certain chicken, cat and mouse sarcoma viruses were "defective" in their ability to induce experimental cancer. But when a "helper" leukemia virus was added to the mix, the sarcoma virus was able to induce cancer.
By 1977, the year the experimental hepatitis B vaccine was being developed by Merck for use in gays , scientists in the VCP aimed "to determine the oncogenic [cancer-causing] potential of putative human viruses" and "to begin viral vaccine (conventional or other) testing and immunization programs" (1977 VCP Report; p32). The exact methods for accomplishing this were not stated. However, it is now obvious that the introduction of two new viruses into gay men conveniently accomplished this goal of VCP scientists: namely, to prove that immunosuppressive and cancer-causing retroviruses - with or without herpes KS-like "helper viruses" - could cause disease and cancer in humans.
The gay hepatitis B experiments (1978-1981) that preceded AIDS
HIV and the KS virus were introduced shortly after U.S. government scientists began recruiting large groups of gays from health clinics for the purpose of testing, treatment, and experimentation. It is my contention that this most hated minority in America afforded an opportunity to covertly test laboratory cancer viruses and "human candidate viruses" as specified in the VCR annual reports.
Were the primate "ancestors" of HIV and the KS herpes virus contained in some vials of the experimental hepatitis B vaccines? The extremely high incidence of both these "new" viruses in gays who volunteered for the vaccine experiments suggests this possibility.
The experimental vaccine was developed by Merck in chimpanzees and manufactured by purifying the pooled blood of 30 gay men who were hepatitis B virus carriers.[4] The volunteers in the experiment had to be free of the hepatitis B virus in order to test the efficacy of the vaccine.
During the first trial (November 1978-October 1979) at the New York Blood Center in Manhattan, there was great concern that the vaccine might be contaminated. According to June Goodfield's Quest for the Killers, p 86, "This was no theoretical fear, contamination having been suspected in one batch made by the National Institutes of Health, though never in Merck's." The 1,083 gay men were given three inoculations of the vaccine over a period of three months. The vaccine for each injection given to each man was contained within a one-dose individual vial.
The vaccine trial was a tremendous success with 96% of the men developing protective antibodies against the hepatitis B virus. [5,6] Some investigators condemning the man-made theory of AIDS have speculated that many of the men might have been already immunosuppressed by HIV before the experiment. However, in that case the 96% success rate could not have been achieved because immunosuppressed people frequently do not produce antibodies to the vaccine. Furthermore, there is no evidence that HIV existed in the U.S. blood supply before 1978, the year the gay experiments began.
Irrespective of how the two viruses were "introduced," it is a fact that government scientists quickly vilified gays and promoted AIDS as "gay-related immunodeficiency disease," and as "gay cancer" and "gay pneumonia." The disease was allowed to spread by the federal government which put budget ahead of the nation's welfare, and by disinterested health authorities who placed political expediency before the public health - and by scientists more concerned with international prestige than saving lives, as detailed by Randy Shilts in his classic book, And The Band Played On.
The end of the Virus Cancer Program and the birth of AIDS
The VCP ended in 1980 with the inability to prove that viruses were involved in human cancer. However, the VCP gave birth to genetic engineering, molecular biology, and the human genome project. The program built up the field of animal retrovirology, which led to a more complete understanding of how immunosuppressive and cancer-causing retroviruses caused disease. Naturally, this was helpful when the first cases of "gay cancer" erupted in 1979 in Manhattan and the epidemic was officially recognized in 1981.
As the VCP ended in 1980, more gay vaccine experiments began in other cities, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. The vaccine trials ended in early 1981, just before the epidemic became official. These cities quickly became the primary epicenters of AIDS. Within a few years AIDS became the leading cause of death in young men in New York City; and that city would have the largest number of reported cases in the U.S. (7)
Being a participant in the government's hepatitis studies was clearly dangerous to a gay man's health. After HIV and the KS virus were introduced there was a definite increase in the cancer death rate in male homosexuals, not only from KS, but from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and other types of cancers as well. This was reported in Koblin's 1996 study of 15,565 gays in New York and San Francisco who participated in hepatitis B virus studies in the late 1970s.[8]
The introduction of HIV and the KS herpes virus into gay men miraculously revived the career of Robert Gallo and made him the most famous virologist in the world; and turned the failure of the VCP in 1980 into a triumph a few years later.
When Gallo's blood test for HIV became available in the mid-1980s, the New York Blood Center's stored gay blood specimens were reexamined for this virus. Most astonishing is the fact that 20% of the gay men in the Manhattan experiment were HIV-positive in 1980 (one year before the AIDS epidemic became "official"). These Manhattan gays in 1980 had the highest incidence of HIV anywhere in the world, including Africa, the supposed birthplace of HIV and AIDS. Forty percent of the men were HIV-positive in 1984. [9] And, as previously noted, one out of five gay men (20%) in an AIDS study group in New York City in 1982 tested positive for the new KS herpes-8 virus.[3]
It must be assumed that many of the men in the experiment eventually died of AIDS. The actual number of AIDS deaths has never been revealed. Attempts to secure this vital medical information have been rebuffed due to "confidentiality issues."
The origin and spread of the new Kaposi's Sarcoma virus
We are expected to believe that two primate viruses out of the African jungle "jumped species" -and ended up exclusively in the blood of white gay men in Manhattan in 1979. Such an unlikely biological scenario has the markings of a scientific fairy tale; and I remain stupefied that this theory has been so readily and universally accepted as "fact" by AIDS scientists.
In this regard, Patrick S Moore (a co-discoverer of the KS virus) claims the virus may have been introduced recently into the human population from a primate reservoir in Africa (''The emergence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus,' New England Journal of Medicine [Editorial], November 9, 2000). Moore also alerts us to the danger of "xenotransplantation," whereby animal tissue and parts (along with animal viruses) are placed into human beings.
The distinct possibility that pre-AIDS primate experimentation was responsible for transferring HIV-like chimp and monkey viruses into humans is never mentioned by virologists. In addition, the AIDS establishment pooh-poohs any connection between the pre-AIDS gay experiments and the exclusive outbreak of HIV and the KS virus in homosexuals.
Also long forgotten are the millions of people (including half the U.S. population) injected with a cancer-causing monkey virus called simian (monkey) virus -40 which contaminated polio vaccines in the 1960s up to the late 1990s. For more details of this vaccine horror, see: and the recently published, The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed.
Once a rare virus, the KS virus is now widespread among "normal" blood donors. Donated blood is not routinely tested for the presence of the virus; and there is concern the KS virus could be further spread by blood transfusion. [10] In Texas 15% of blood donors now test positive for the KS virus. [11] A 2004 study indicates that up to 40% of men with prostate cancer (the most common form of cancer in men) have evidence of the KS virus in their blood. [12]
The man-made theory of AIDS and the Kaposi's sarcoma epidemic
In this current period of history when the origin of the Iraq war is shrouded in lies and deception at the highest levels of government, it is certainly conceivable that the origin of AIDS and two new viruses could also be shrouded in scientific secrecy, disinformation, misinformation, and government cover-up.
The evidence gathered here is merely a tiny fraction of the circumstantial evidence supporting the man-made origin of AIDS and the KS epidemics, both epidemics erupting immediately after a decade of dangerous animal cancer virus experimentation. The man-made theory has been fully explored in my two books, AIDS and the Doctors of Death and Queer Blood, as well as in Leonard G. Horowitz's Emerging Viruses, and in Robert E. Lee's AIDS: An Explosion of the Biological Time-Bomb. A Google search, using the key words "man-made origin of AIDS," reveals over 300 citations.
Although the scientific community and the media have totally ignored this subject for the past quarter-century, the man-made "conspiracy theory" of AIDS refuses to go away.
And finally, after all these years, it is time for medical science to admit that cancer can never be "gay" - or "straight."
[Dr. Alan Cantwell is a retired dermatologist; and the author of five books on the man-made origin of AIDS and the infectious origin of cancer, all published by Aries Rising Press, PO Box 29532, Los Angeles, CA 90029 ( Email: Abstracts of 30 published papers can be found at the PubMed website. Many of his personal writings can be found on by typing in key words "alan cantwell" + articles. His latest book is Four Women Against Cancer: Bacteria, Cancer and the Origin of Life. His books are available on and through Book Clearing House @ 1-800-431-1579]
1. KS enters Y2K still riddled with many questions.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 Oct 6;91(19):1612-4.
2. Biggar RJ, Burnett W, Mikl J, Nasca P. Cancer among New York men at risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Int J Cancer. 1989 Jun 15;43(6):979-85.
3. O'Brien TR, Kedes D, Ganem D, Macrae DR, Rosenberg PS, Molden J, Goedert JJ. Evidence for concurrent epidemics of human herpesvirus 8 and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in US homosexual men: rates, risk factors, and relationship to Kaposi's sarcoma. J Infect Dis. 1999 Oct;180(4):1010-7.
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9. Stevens CE, Taylor PE, Zang EA, Morrison JM, Harley EJ, Rodriguez de Cordoba S, Bacino C, Ting RC, Bodner AJ, Sarngadharan MG, et al. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection in a cohort of homosexual men in New York City. JAMA. 1986 Apr 25;255(16):2167-72.
10. Dollard SC, Nelson KE, Ness PM, Stambolis V, Kuehnert MJ, Pellett PE, Cannon MJ. Possible transmission of human herpesvirus-8 by blood transfusion in a historical United States cohort. Transfusion. 2005 Apr;45(4):500-3.
11. Baillargeon J, Deng JH, Hettler E, Harrison C, Grady JJ, Korte LG, Alexander J, Montalvo E, Jenson HB, Gao SJ. Seroprevalence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection among blood donors from Texas. Ann Epidemiol. 2001 Oct;11(7):512-8.
12. Hoffman LJ, Bunker CH, Pellett PE, Trump DL, Patrick AL, Dollard SC, Keenan HA, Jenkins FJ. Elevated seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 among men with prostate cancer. J Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 1;189(1):15-20.




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