"The River" is Edward Hooper's "10-year investigation [that] suggests that HIV can be traced to the polio vaccine" (London Telegraph, "Where Did AIDS Really Come From"). The book is a much more thorough outgrowth from the famous Rolling Stone cover story by Tom Curtis: "The Origin of HIV/AIDS: Man or God?". However, the Telegraph reporter, Roger Highfield, goes on to suggest that with new evidence "the theory is fatally weakened". He concludes the article leaving the reader right where she started, "the origins of AIDS remain mysterious."
I've only gotten through the introduction to Hooper's massive book. Reading the Telegraph article left me with an empty feeling though, particularly because the late Bill Hamilton, who wrote the introduction, makes it a point to address the breadth of medical, personal, and economic interests on the side of keeping the broad scope of the HIV/AIDS narrative a mystery.
It may be one thing to act on the mystery of the spirit, but I'll leave it to the reader to decide how wise it is to act on political mystery. And since the Bonos, et al. will be out in full force today (this, national HIV/AIDS awareness day in the US) with the RED project to raise money to "fight AIDS", the only two cents I'll throw in the pool is for us to find some time to invest in familiarizing ourselves with the broad medical, personal, and economic scope of the history of humankind's most tragic disease. It is a daunting task, but we owe it to ourselves to not be amnesic about the past and to not be hopeful for the sake of hope's intoxicating properties alone.
How it began: HIV before the age of AIDS (PBS)
HIV-resistant people found in Uganda (New Vision)
Origin of Aids [documentary]: "Since first being broadcast in 2003 the Origins Of Aids has yet to be aired on UK television. Despite winning many awards and being hotly debated the reason is more than likely connected to the barrage of legal assaults made on Channel 4 by Dr Koprowski, who it is theorized caused the Aids epidemic during 1950s trials of an experimental polio vaccine in Africa." Watch it here:
Frontline's documentary, "The Age of AIDS" is below:
Part 1: A Deadly New Disease
Part 2: The Spread Escalates
Part 3: Politics & Tracking AIDS' History
Part 4: Scientific Breakthroughs
Part 5: A Death Gives AIDS a Face
Part 6: The Lessons of Leadership
Part 7: Setbacks
Part 8: At the Brink
Part 9: Political Indifference
Part 10: A Radical New Treatment
Part 11: The Struggle to Get the Drugs
Part 12: The Relentless Spread
Part 13: Financing the Battle
Part 14: New Challenges
Part 15: 40m Infections + 40m to Come