Rock Hudson Gave “AIDS” a Face—and Its Fallacious Story Gave the Virus Hunters Godlike Status
“We would have to ensure that the media do not use the power of images to create emotions that influence our judgment.”
Professor of Statistics and Empirical Economic and Social Research
On the 23rd of April 1984, the US microbiologist Robert Gallo and the then US Secretary of Health and Human Services Margret Heckler claimed to the world in front of running cameras: “The probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus.” The word “probable” was practically unnoticed, not least because the two also used phrases like “Today’s discovery represents the triumph of science over a dreaded disease” (see chapter 3, subchapter “23 April 1984: Gallo’s TV Appearance Carves the Virus Dogma in Stone”). But the whole thing was still relatively theoretical. So for people to really realize, even really feel, that a deadly virus is “raging”, more is needed. It needs stories of fates, of dramas that touch us deeply.
With Corona, these were particularly the dramatic TV pictures from Italy, which went around the world in mid-March and showed military vehicles that carried away numerous coffins. And in the case of HIV/AIDS, it was the Hollywood world star Rock Hudson who depicts a kind of “big bang” here. Hudson was one of the first to undergo an “HIV antibody test”. This happened on June 5, 1984, just a few weeks after Gallo’s TV appearance on stage.
The test was not even officially licensed at that time, as this was only done nine months later by the US FDA. Moreover, the first HIV antibody test, developed in 1985, was designed to screen blood products, not to diagnose AIDS, as it says in the study “Human Immunodeficiency Virus Diagnostic Testing: 30 Years of Evolution”, published 2016 in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunity. Nevertheless, Gallo and Heckler were not afraid to send the completely unfounded message around the globe: “We now have a blood test for AIDS. With a blood test, we can identify AIDS victims with essentially 100 percent certainty.”
And so it happened that the 1.96-metre tall image of American manhood received a “positive” test report. Hudson did not make this public for a long time, but about a year later, on the 25th of July 1985, he finally passed on the news to the world public that he had AIDS. And the fact that Hudson was the first Hollywood star to be officially considered an AIDS patient and who died only a few months after his “AIDS-Outing” finally brought the AIDS phenomenon out of the gay community and conveyed the message that a real epidemic was underway.
According to the motto: if AIDS can affect someone like Hudson, it can affect anyone, men and women alike. Or as the German news magazine Spiegel put it in August 1985: “At the latest since the long death and public confession of AIDS by the film idol Rock Hudson, once the epitome of radiant health and (heterosexual) love, the mood has changed. ‘Danger for us all—a new epidemic plague,’ discovered the Munich tabloid Quick. ‘No one is safe from Aids anymore,’ was a title of the US magazine Life ... ‘Aids—now the women are dying’ (Bild am Sonntag).”
But the thesis that a deadly virus carried him off could not be more wrong. Rather, it was his excessive lifestyle and the intake of highly toxic drugs that he fell victim to. Summarizing, Rock Hudson has been drinking and chain smoking for decades, which in itself is very damaging to the liver and the body as a whole. In addition to that is the intake of lifestyle drugs like poppers, which also have a highly toxic effect on organs such as the liver. Due to this wasting lifestyle Hudson was already a seriously ill man in his mid/late 50s, which was also reflected in his heart surgery at the age of 56. In this very unstable physical stage, the Hollywood legend received drugs such as HPA-23, which has liver-destroying effects, over the twelve (or even more) months before his death. And once the liver is gone, death is inevitably not far away.
Therefore it can only be concluded that the highly toxic medication played the crucial part in Hudson’s death on the 2nd of October 1985.