This website is about bloodborne HIV in Africa, not Covid-19 (hereafter: C19). However, because debates about C19 policies include charges of lies, misinformation, and unethical research, C19 debates have parallels with mismanagement of HIV in Africa. Recognizing these parallels could not only call attention to long-term mismanagement of HIV in Africa but also strengthen debates about C19. For example:
1. Government health agencies and critics charge each other with misinformation about C19 issues. Are health agencies always reliable? Critics could strengthen their case by calling attention to decades of well-documented lies about HIV in Africa. For example:
Lying about bloodborne risks: For decades foreign and international public health agencies have assured Africans they won’t get HIV from health care even though the same agencies warned their employees they could get HIV from clinics serving the African general public (and arranged special, safe facilities for foreigners). All along evidence was available to show that bloodborne risks were a major contributor to Africa’s HIV epidemics (see Chapters 3 and 6 in ). We can quibble about the percentages of HIV from health care, but not about the lies and inadequate response to unexplained infections (no investigations to find and stop their source).
Lying that evidence shows sex accounts for most HIV-positive adults: Yes, evidence shows some adults got HIV from sex penile-vaginal sex. But evidence has never been available to show most infections come from sex. To the contrary: the best evidence says only a minority of HIV-positive Africans got it from sex (see Chapters 3 and 6 in ). The long-standing lie that most HIV in Africa comes from sex has led to millions of avoidable bloodborne infections, stigmatized HIV-positive adults with changes of sexual misbehavior, and endorsed long-standing racist stereotypes.
Lying to say Depo is safe: WHO and other public health agencies have lied to Africans about Depo-Provera injections for birth control, dismissing evidence they increase risk for women to get HIV by 40%-50% (for evidence and references, see menu on the right of this page).
2. Critics charge that the US National Institute of Health (NIH), Anthony Fauci, and Gates supported unethical research. These charges could be strengthened by noting long-term and repeated foreign support for unethical HIV-related research in Africa. For example (see also Appendix 2 in  or the menu on the right of this page):
Following HIV-positive adults who are unaware of their infections (but researchers know!) to watch them infect spouses, get sick, and die.
Following HIV-positive new mothers who are unaware of their infections (but researchers know!) to watch them infect their babies through breastfeeding.
Giving African women a drug known to increase their risk for HIV and following them to see how fast they get HIV.
Following and testing young African women twice per week in a community where young women get HIV at high rates to study immune responses to very new infections, but without identifying the sources of the new infections, which could protect women in the community.
Where are we going?
Critics of C19 policies challenge official C19 statements and recommendations. Are critics right or wrong? I expect time will tell. But in the meantime, debates about C19 present an opportunity to recognize and challenge dangerous and demeaning HIV-related public health lies and unethical research afflicting Africans.
Is this a parallel?
After WWII, German Pastor Martin Niemoller confessed that his silence about early government abuses led to more widespread abuses. Here’s a paraphrase of his famous confession – linking HIV lies to current C19 debates:
First they lied to Africans that they would not get HIV from healthcare, and we didn’t complain – because we didn’t take health care in Africa.
Then they followed HIV-positive Africans without telling them they were infected to watch infect their spouses and children, and we didn’t complain — because we didn’t live in Africa.
Then they didn’t warn African women about Depo injections increasing their risk to get HIV, and we didn’t complain -– because we didn’t live in Africa.
Then they asked people in rich countries to believe whatever they said about C19 – and who will help us challenge unreliable official data, analyses, and public health messages (behavior change communications)?
1. Gisselquist D. Stopping Bloodborne HIV: investigating unexplained infections. London: Adonis & Abbey, 2021. Available for free download at: https://sites.google.com/site/davidgisselquist/stoppingbloodbornehiv (accessed 28 January 2021).
2. Marcuse H. Martin Niemoller’s famous quotation: “first they came for the communists…” Niemoller Quotation Page [internet] 22 April 2021. Available at: https://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu/niem.htm (accessed 18 December 2021). Niemoller’s confession: First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.