Casper G. Schmidt (January 6, 1947, Johannesburg - May 14, 1994, New York) was a psychiatrist who published "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS" in the Journal of Psychohistory in 1984. The article, which claimed that AIDS was not a real disease but a product of "epidemic hysteria," is still regularly cited by AIDS denialists. Schmidt died from AIDS in 1994.

Casper Schmidt was a doctor [1] who later specialized in psychoanalysis and operated a psychiatric practice in New York. As an Afrikaans poet and writer, he won the Perskor Prize for his poetry. Schmidt was also known for work in the HIV / Aids field.

Casper Gottlieb Schmidt was born in Johannesburg on January 6, 1947. His brother Wilhelm was a sculptor and poet. He attended school in Windhoek in the then South West Africa and then qualified himself as a physician at the University of Pretoria. Here he was one of four well-known poets who were enrolled at the University of Pretoria's medical school simultaneously. The other three were Phil du Plessis, Henk Rall and Menno Stenvert. He was already known for his avant-garde poems and was a collaborator of Wurm magazine. Following his studies, he briefly conducted general medical practice in Soweto. In November 1974, he left for America, where he qualified as a psychiatrist and worked for a while at Bellevue Hospital. He decided to become psychoanalyst and underwent his personal analysis as a follower of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, known for her psychoanalytic work with schizophrenics. He then qualified as a child psychiatrist and established a practice in this field in New York.

He became widely known as one of the experts who rejected the view that Aids is caused by the HIV virus. [2] He wrote several articles on the historical, social and psychological causes of Aids, which were published in The Journal of Psychohistory. In New York he was Associate Director of the Institute of Psychohistory as well as a member of the AIDS Action Group ACT UP. The Institute of Psychohistory was an organization that mainly investigated behavioral causes and therefore used behavior as a basis for dissident opinions on Aids. Furthermore, they focused on psycho-biography (analysis of the biographies of leaders representative of an era or region); history of childhood (examining how children were treated in different periods to determine the impact on a community); and group psycho-history (analysis of the unconscious fantasies of a public) [2] [3]

He was also a graphic artist, as witnessed by several sieve prints in South African collections, as well as art dealer and potter, who participated in group exhibitions in America and elsewhere. In 1985, he set up his own publishing house, Ombondi Publishers, to release his short story collection "Kokende gô" and he also created an art gallery in New York with the same name to promote South African artists' work.

His mental state was such that he played macabre games with his friends and, for example, he sent some of them their own detailed obituaries in poetic language. When he visited his home country for the last time in 1991, he informed his friends and family that Hodgkin's disease had been diagnosed with him. He died of Aids-related causes in New York on May 14, 1994.

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