How East Germany Fabricated the Myth of HIV Being Man-Made

Research output: Contribution to journalDebate/Note/Editorialpeer-review


Despite the fact that the origin of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) being a contamination and a mutation originating from primates is well-documented alternative narratives are often being heard ofespecially in sub-Saharan Africa. One such narrative is about HIV being man-made in a military laboratory in the United States. In this article, it is shown how this narrative was fabricated by the intelligence services in East Germany (German Democratic Republic – GDR) as part of the ideological warfare during the Cold War. The purpose of this article is to put an end to a long-lasting conspiracy theory, which is still alive and may create diversion from serious research on the topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-522
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History
  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified

Free keywords

  • Cold War
  • conspiracy
  • HIV
  • man-made


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