[Ads-l] Slight Antedating of "AIDS"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 16 21:14:57 UTC 2022

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.


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.
> >
> > Fred Shapiro
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> --
> James Eric Lawson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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