Politics
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Gingrich’s Tenn. co-chair: AIDS cannot be transmitted through heterosexual sex

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Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

The deputy state director and campaign co-chairman of Newt Gingrich’s Tennessee campaign team told a local radio station on Thursday that AIDS came from a man having sex with a monkey, and that it is all but “impossible” to transmit AIDS through heterosexual sex.

“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall,” State Sen. Stacey Campfield told Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large of Huffington Post subsection, Gay Voices. Signorile who runs a radio show on SiriusXM radio.

“My understanding … is that it is virtually — not completely impossible — it’s virtually impossible to contract AIDS … through heterosexual sex,” the state senator added.

Neither statement is factual. The generally-accepted origin of AIDS is that a man in Africa who was butchering a monkey got its blood in a cut, and that contracted the disease. AIDS can absolutely be transmitted through heterosexual sex.

Campfield later defended the comments to the Commercial Appeal, saying that his comments were made “on the fly.”

The Commercial Appeal reported that he told the paper that his point was “valid in that, within the United States, heterosexual encounters almost never result in AIDS ‘unless you’re having sex with someone from Africa or an IV drug user.’”

“The odds of men catching it from women are very, very, very low,” he added.

The Gingrich campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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