Poppers and Lampshades

TRKeske trkeske at aol.com
Thu Apr 30 21:06:15 EST 1998


There has been a limited resurgence in the use of poppers, which
obligates gay leaders and media to remind the community about
the dangers. 

Once that we've done that, we should also be asking questions
about the history of poppers, their link to Kaposi's sarcoma,
and whether there was any malicious intent on the part of the
drug companies and our government, in allowing poppers to
be pushed on the gay community.

It is important to distinguish that poppers are NOT the cause of
AIDS, per se.  However, not everyone may be aware that their
connection as a probable co-factor in Kaposi's sarcoma is
well-founded.  Even Robert Gallo has acknowledged the likelihood
that poppers may be the primary co-factor [1].

Apparently, there are no proven cases of transfusion-related
Kaposi's sarcoma, which suggests that the syndrome does not share
the same viral cause as AIDS itself.  Incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma
in a number of studies has tended to correlate directly with the
degree of use of poppers [1] [2].

The New York Native, criticized on gaynet and in Boston's
Bay Windows for its "cultish" reporting on AIDS, was one of
the first papers to warn firmly about the dangers of poppers,
which are strongly mutagenic (causing genetic damage).
Some gay papers, such as Chicago's  Windy City Times, actually
suppressed a warning letter from the head of the CDC, instead
printing propaganda from a prominent popper manufacturer who
also advertised in the paper.

Poppers which are made from amyl/butyl nitrite, also cause immune
system depression.

Poppers first came into widespread use in the gay community in
the 1970's, the decade before AIDS.  Advertising was heavy and
seductive, making poppers appear to be healthful.  Sometimes,
advertising offered "Better Living Through Chemistry".

A troubling question in this is that our government was well-aware
of the dangers of poppers.  A 1972 U.S. Army study was conducted
on the "Effect of Amyl Nitrite on Man" (Biomedical and Behavioral
Research, Vol 40, Research Plan #12002, approved 3/15/1972).

Dr. Guy Everett of Chicago Medical School also published in 1972
concerning the "possible serious side effects".

Another troubling factor is that amyl nitrite had actually been in use
for a long time, in other contexts, without ever having caused
Kaposi's sarcoma.  Amyl nitrite was discovered in 1857, and was
used as a treatment for angina (a heart condition).  Before it became
popular in the gay community in the 1970s, it was popular in 
the entertainment industry, in the 1960s.

Perhaps amyl nitrite wasn't previously causing KS simply because
it needs the immune suppression of AIDS as a cofactor.  However,
this theory is not completely convincing because, once again,
poppers cause immune suppression, in their own right.

Another possibility that seems to occur to no one is that perhaps
poppers were intentionally contaminated with some other
carcinogenic substance, specifically to kill its nearly exclusive
users, gay men.

Some of the same pharmaceutical companies that produced
poppers, such as Burroughs-Welcome, also produce AZT, the
AIDS treatment so toxic that it was not used on terminal cancer
patients.  Perhaps studies as to the benefits of AZT were as
rigged as the pro-popper propaganda that was once heaped
on the gay community.

Picture this- perhaps we were tempted to pay large sums of
money both for the cause and then the even deadlier "treatment"
of a designer disease.  They really take you, coming and
going, don't they?  Try to tell gay people what is going on,
and no one will squeal louder in disbelief.  Then, you can
propagandize them to vote Republican, which 1 in 5 will
really do, to boot. 

The perfect victims, so trusting, so unquestioning.  So very highly
profitable, I'm surprised that they aren't extracting the gold fillings
from the teeth of gay men, or finding ways to turn purple
lesions of the skin into pretty, purple lampshades.

Don't go spoiling it all, now, by getting curious, or (God forbid)
actually suspicious.

Tom Keske
Boston, Mass.

[1] http://www.livelinks.com/sumeria/aids/john-l/poppers-ks.html

[2] http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/data/tbpoppers/htm

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