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On this date in 2004, Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai restated her claim that the AIDS virus was a deliberately created biological agent.
The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner said, "Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys [since] time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that. "Us black people are dying more than any other people on this planet," Maathai spoke at a press conference in Nairobi a day after winning the prize for her work in human rights and reversing deforestation across Africa. "It's true that some people create agents to wipe out other people. If there were no such people, we could not have invaded Iraq."
Maathai, also the Kenyan deputy environment and natural resources minister, and the 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 worldwide infected with HIV/AID, 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."