False: Every virus since HIV in the 1980s has been a bioweapon.

By: Arron Williams
March 16 2023

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False: Every virus since HIV in the 1980s has been a bioweapon.


The Verdict False

HIV and other viruses are naturally occurring and not human-made bioweapons. Scientific evidence shows HIV has likely affected humans for a century.

Claim ID 1ac841ac


In an episode of the Stew Peters Show, guest Judy Mikovits claimed that every virus since HIV in the 1980s has been caused by vaccines and is a synthetic bioweapon. Mikovits claims that HIV was caused by hepatitis B vaccinations. Both Mikovits and the shows host Stew Peters are known to spread anti-vax conspiracy theories. The episode was originally uploaded to Rumble and the Stew Peters website and has since been shared on Facebook, where it has gained over 1000 views.

In Fact

Scientific evidence and research show that HIV is a naturally occurring virus, and neither AIDS nor HIV were developed as human-made bioweapons. 

In a 2008 research paper published in the journal Nature, analysis of a biopsy sample suggests that the virus was likely present and affecting humans for nearly a century. The CDC states HIV infection in humans is related to the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus found in chimpanzees, and infections in humans came from chimpanzees in Central Africa. The virus slowly spread around the world and has existed in the U.S. since at least the 1970s. In 1981 a global AIDS/HIV epidemic began, with the virus still being a major public health issue. However, HIV may have infected humans as early as the 1800s. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that hepatitis B vaccines cause HIV.  

Conspiratorial claims and rumors of HIV being a manufactured bioweapon are not new and are linked to a Soviet disinformation campaign. According to The Wilson Center, a KGB campaign in the mid-1980s claimed the U.S. military had manufactured AIDs as a bioweapon in the Infectious Diseases lab at Fort Detrick. 

While other conspiracies claiming AIDS was a bioweapon arose in 1983, it was the KGB's disinformation campaign that popularized the rumor that it was created in Fort Detrick. These claims can still be found across the internet, and in the Stew Peters Show episode, Mikovits claims that all the viruses in the last 40 years were created at Fort Detrick in collaboration with Russia and China. However, there is no evidence any viruses originated from Fort Detrick. Similarly, Logically recently fact-checked a claim that COVID-19 originated from Fort Detrick and found it false.

A 2020 fact check by Science notes Mikovits was a medical researcher who co-authored a research paper that claimed an agent called "xenotropic murine leukemia virus related-virus" caused chronic fatigue syndrome. The study's findings could not be replicated, and eventually, the paper was retracted, and her work was discredited. Following this, Mikovits started to spread conspiracies about vaccines and how health department heads colluded against her.

Stew Peters is also the producer of the anti-vax documentary Died Suddenly, released in November 2022. Logically extensively covered the claims made in the documentary and found them to misrepresent statistics and spread false information.

The Verdict

HIV and other viruses are naturally occurring and not human-manufactured bioweapons. These claims are part of anti-vax conspiracy theories and are not based on factual evidence. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before