Maathai, also the Kenyan deputy environment and natural resources minister and fearless speaker said. "In fact the HIV virus is created by a scientist for biological warfare. Why has there been so much secrecy about AIDS? When you ask where did the virus come from, it raises a lot of flags. That makes me suspicious."
Africa accounts for 25 million out of the estimated 38 million people across the world infected with HIV, and the vast majority of infected Africans are women, according to UNAIDS estimates.
The United States congratulated Maathai on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but tempered its praise over her claims about AIDS. "She said (HIV/AIDS) was invented as a bio-weapon in some laboratory in the West," a senior State Department official said. "We don't agree with that."
In a 2004 interview with Time, in response to questions concerning that report, Maathai replied, "I have no idea who created AIDS and whether it is a biological agent or not. But I do know things like that don't come from the moon. I have always thought that it is important to tell people the truth, but I guess there is some truth that must not be too exposed," and when asked what she meant, she continued, "I'm referring to AIDS. I am sure people know where it came from. And I'm quite sure it did not come from the monkeys." In response she issued the following statement:
“I have warned people against false beliefs and misinformation such as attributing this disease to a curse from God or believing that sleeping with a virgin cures the infection. These prevalent beliefs in my region have led to an upsurge in rape and violence against children. It is within this context, also complicated by the cultural and religious perspective, that I often speak. I have therefore been shocked by the ongoing debate generated by what I am purported to have said. It is therefore critical for me to state that I neither say nor believe that the virus was developed by white people or white powers in order to destroy the African people. Such views are wicked and destructive."
The origin of AIDS started when monkeys or chimps in the Afrikan bush, which already carried the AIDS virus (HIV) transferred it to human being either by in gestation or infected via a bite. This was known as the Green Monkey theory, which was developed by Dr. Richard Gallo in 1984. Luc Montaigne of the Pasteur Institute of Paris, who claimed to have co-discovered the virus, challenged Gallo. To this day it has never been settled, thus neither scientist has been award the Nobel Prize for its discovery. However, of the two, Gallo's ideas are the more popular, and he is the developer of the Green Monkey theory. The virus eventually named the human T-cell lymphotropic virus-3 (HTLV-3). It was first identified in a 52 year-old, black, bisexual male. This virus' bacteria are similar to cancer, however, cancer is considered noncommunicable whereas AIDS is sexually transmitted.
Where did Gallo's new virus come from? According to the journal Science (Jan 4, 1985) it was reported that Gallo's AIDS virus was most closely related to viruses found in sheep and goats, particularly the visna virus in sheep. But Gallo rejected this idea because the idea of a sheep virus infecting gay men would have undoubtedly aroused suspicion because the only place one could find visna was in research labs. Gallo, with the help of veterinarian Max Essex of Harvard, convinced the AIDS experts and the adoring media that AIDS came from green monkeys. This claim was totally unfounded. Gallo claimed that in 1983 (a year before his discovery of the virus?) that Ann Giudici Fettner, a free-lance journalist who had lived in Africa, told him that the virus came from green monkeys in central Africa. However, Fettner's in her 1984 book, The Truth About AIDS, never mentioned a green monkey-Afrikan connection. In fact, she clearly states, "AIDS started as an American disease." To this date, though the Green Monkey theory lingers in many a mind, there is no scientific papers, which uphold the theory. Despite the fact that the first case of AIDS was found in Manhattan, scientist continued to insist its origins lied in Afrika.
According to Cantwell it is entirely possible that AIDS was created in the laboratory as a result of a decade of scientist mixing and adapting massive numbers of cancer-causing and immunosuppressive animal viruses and transferring them between various animal species in an attempt to experimentally produce cancer in the laboratory. He states: "In the process of these "species-jumping" experiments, the scientists mixed viruses together, seeded them into the bodies of various animal species, and planted them into animal and human cell cultures. In the process myriads of new, laboratory-created mutant, hybrid and recombinant viruses were created, some of which were exceedingly dangerous."
For what purpose would scientist engage in virus adaptation and experimentation. One was for biowarfare. As early as 1969, Donald A MacArthur stated in Congressional testimony that "molecular biology is a field that is advancing very rapidly and eminent biologists believe that within a period of 5 to 10 years it would be possible to produce a synthetic biological agent, an agent that does not exist naturally and for which no natural immunity could have been acquired." In other words, these agents would have military applications. The perils of such tampering were known at the time as the Danish pathologist J Clemmesen warned that the transmissibility of these genetically-altered viral agents could cause a world epidemic of cancer if they escaped from the laboratory. Despite the risks, however, it was decided to continue with cancer-virus experimentation.