[Ads-l] Slight Antedating of "AIDS"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 16 16:20:54 EST 2022


BTW, the writer's name is George Mendenhall (not Mendelhall). Here's the
Mar. 25, 1982 article in question:

https://archive.org/details/BAR_19820325/page/n4/mode/1up

On Sun, Jan 16, 2022 at 4:15 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> Presumably the reference to "the combined Lise of the more popular drugs"
> is an OCR error for "combined use". The context is interesting. There was a
> strongly held claim in the earlier years of the AIDS outbreak, persisting
> well beyond the early 1980s and based especially in California if memory
> serves and circulated in underground papers like the Berkeley Barb and L.A.
> Free Press, that the syndrome had nothing to do with HIV and instead was
> caused by drug use, poppers, promiscuity, etc., and that the medical
> establishment was covering this up.  Back then, poorly supported conspiracy
> theories didn't have social media to live on, so this one didn't go viral.
> I'm sure in retrospect Mendelhall was glad he published that disclaimer.
>
> LH
>
> On Sun, Jan 16, 2022 at 3:26 PM James Eric Lawson <jel at nventure.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Bay Area Reporter, Volume 12, Number 14, Page 6, 8 April 1982
> > (California Digital Newspapers Collection)   I would like to clarify a
> > couple of points in George Mendenhall’s March 25 B.A.R. report of the
> > poppers hearings in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Health and
> > Environment Committee on March 23. 1982. Mistakenly attributed to me is
> > a statement that the “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (which
> > includes Kaposi's sarcoma. pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. and other
> > rare diseases occurring in some gay men over the past year) results
> > ”from the combined Lise of the more popular drugs such as alco» hol.
> > hashish. caffeine. nicotinei etc. —~ as well as the nitrites." Actually.
> > the cause or, more likely, causes of the AIDS are not known. I stressed
> > that amyl and butyl nitrite are being investigated as possible co—
> > factors in both the AIDS and another condition where the body's lymph
> > glands become enlarged. I am not aware of any relationship between
> > alcohol, hashish. etc, and any disease other than alcoholism, chemical
> > dependency.
> >
> > -----
> >
> > Incidentally, I checked the mentioned 25 Mar report by Mendenhall, and
> > found it did not reference 'acquired immune deficiency syndrome' (or
> > AIDS), but rather "acquired immune deficiencies" (p 5)
> >
> > On 1/15/22 5:40 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
> > > AIDS (OED 1982 Aug.)
> > >
> > > 1982 Boston Globe 27 July 4/1 (Newspapers.com)  The disorder has been
> > named Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome, or AIDS.
> > >
>

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