Let's take a look at what is said here.
Rhodes acknowledges that HIV/AIDS originated from a disease that infected an animal. For some reason he says it was from the African green monkey. But according to The Origins of AIDS by Jacques Pepin (2010) HIV/AIDS came from SIV, a disease that infected the Central Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes).
No one knows for sure how or when AIDS started. The many theories come down to the fact that the African green monkey carries the HIV naturally in its bloodstream. Somehow, several decades ago, the virus in the blood of the green monkey was transmitted to people, probably when hunters killed and butchered HIV-carrying monkeys or consumed meat from infected monkeys. Once in the human bloodstream, the virus proved to be a deadly killer.As mentioned in a previous post it is widely known this initial infection occurred around the 1920s. There appears to have been two initial infections, one in Cameroon but that strand never got out of Africa. The other appears to have come from what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and appears to have first established itself in the city now known as Kinshasa around the 1920s. But due to modern means of transportation introduced by European colonial rule the undetected disease spread from Africa. It was that strand which managed to spread itself all over the world before being detected in 1981. One account trying to determine where HIV/AIDS came from may be found in The Origins of AIDS by Jacques Pepin (2010).
It could have ended there, in the jungles of tropical Africa. But it didn't. Once the virus made the jump to man, it spread quickly around the world. Whereas trade in the Middle Ages was slow, modern transportation is fast. The result was that people all over the world were dying from AIDS before the disease even had a name.So even though it is well established in Rhodes' mind that this dreadful disease came from a disease (SIV) that afflicted apes (the Central Chimpanzee) he still tries to stereotype HIV/AIDS as being somehow closely associated with homosexuals.
In the United States the problem was first seen among homosexuals. It was soon established that certain homosexual practices were particularly effective means of spreading the disease.If, as even Rhodes admits, that it is wrong to describe HIV/AIDS as being somehow associated with gays then why say that "certain homosexual practices were particularly effective means of spreading the disease" in the United States?
However, it would be wrong to describe the disease as only a “gay plague.” Well more than half the people with AIDS are in Africa, where it is a heterosexually transmitted disease.
It is also bizarre and inaccurate to describe HIV/AIDS as "a heterosexually transmitted disease" in Africa when it can easily be transmitted like that everywhere.
It is clear that this is one stereotype that need to be thrown away. HIV/AIDS afflicts all those infected and affected by it. It is wrong to slur a certain group as being somehow associated with them. This is wrong morally and factually. Let us not use this dreadful disease to try to slur others.