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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 07, 1985

KGB, INFORMATION NR. 2955 [TO BULGARIAN STATE SECURITY]

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    The Soviet KGB seeks to create a "favorable opinion for us abroad" through active measures connected with the appearance of AIDS in the United States. The KGB also claims that the US Department of Defense is behind the "rapid spread of the AIDS disease"
    "KGB, Information Nr. 2955 [to Bulgarian State Security]," September 07, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Committee for Disclosing the Documents and Announcing the Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army (CDDAABCSSISBNA-R), f. 9, op. 4, a.e. 663, pp. 208-9. Obtained by Christopher Nehring and translated by Douglas Selvage. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208946
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Top Secret

[Handwritten]

Cde. [Comrade] Panayotov

Cde. Nikolov

for [illegible]

Cde. G. Dimitrov

for information and implementation by

the residencies

Information Nr. 2955

We are conducting a series of [active] measures in connection with the appearance in recent years in the USA of a new and dangerous disease, “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – AIDS”…, and its subsequent, large-scale spread to other countries, including those in Western Europe. The goal of these measures is to create a favorable opinion for us abroad that this disease is the result of secret experiments with a new type of biological weapon by the secret services of the USA and the Pentagon that spun out of control.

It would be desirable if you could join in the implementation of these measures through your capabilities in party, parliamentary, public-policy and journalistic circles in Western and developing countries by promoting the following theses in the bourgeois press:

1.  Having first appeared at the end of the 70s in New York, AIDS has become by 1985 one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. In the USA alone, more than 12400 cases have been registered, of which around one half have died. According to the estimates of American physicians, the number of AIDS cases doubles every half year. Currently, around three million persons in the USA are carriers of the AIDS virus. Since the disease has a very long incubation period (one to five years), identifying it at an early stage, when there is still hope of curing the patient, is extremely difficult. Despite the fact that American and French scientists were able to isolate the AIDS virus in 1983, it was not possible to create effective drugs and treatment methods for this disease. By 1985, AIDS has spread far beyond the United States: numerous cases of AIDS have been reported in almost all countries that import donated blood from the United States. The World Health Organization has declared AIDS to be one of the most dangerous diseases on the earth. In this regard, the WHO noted that AIDS threatens the developing countries more strongly.

2.  Facts have already been cited in the press of the developing countries, in particular India, that testify to the involvement of the special services of the United States and the Pentagon in the appearance and rapid spread of the AIDS disease in the United States, as well as other countries. Judging by these reports, along with the interest shown by the U.S. military in the symptoms of AIDS and the rate and geography of its spread, the most likely assumption is that this most dangerous disease is the result of yet another Pentagon experiment with a new type of biological weapon.  This is confirmed by the fact that the disease affected initially only certain groups of people: homosexuals, drug addicts, immigrants from Latin America. The American authorities immediately blamed Haitian immigrants that they were the ones who had brought AIDS to the USA and announced that AIDS is not dangerous for the "normal" part of the population. However, during the following two years, it was revealed that AIDS can be transmitted through saliva and tears, and it turned out that even children are susceptible to this disease.

3. An indirect indicator of the Pentagon’s involvement in the work with the AIDS virus is that it has been namely the military that has achieved the most significant results in the fight against the disease. Military medical centers in the USA, including the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland, have developed in the strictest secrecy quite effective methods for the early detection of the disease, its treatment at this stage, and appropriate medications. This allows it to limit the spread of AIDS in the U.S. Army and dramatically reduce the number of fatalities, which naturally affects the combat capability of soldiers. At the same time, the Pentagon is not in a hurry to share its achievements in this area with civilian medical institutions, given that it is namely the AIDS patients in civilian hospitals upon whom the Pentagon’s experts are studying the effects of people being infected with the AIDS virus.

Please let us know your thoughts and possible suggestions as soon as possible.

7 September 1985

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