This question, "Is AIDS a manmade disease?", was asked by Jean Elliot on October 24, 1986, at 1:17 pm GMT, 00e05, 51n31 and published by Olivia Barclay in her book "Horary Astrology Rediscovered", along with her interpretation.
This is an interesting question and chart, which deserves a thorough analysis.
Mercury is the 6th house ruler (=disease), therefore it represents AIDS. Mercury in Scorpio depicts AIDS as a sexually transmitted disease.
Mercury's dispositor will show us about the disease's origins: it is Mars in Aquarius (human sign), which is quite descriptive as many of the first victims could trace the their disease to sexual contact with a gay airline steward named Gaetan Dugas (Mars=young male, Aquarius=airlines).
We can study further this chart: we see the main significators (Mercury and Mars) in fixed signs - this indicates the slow but irreversible advance of the disease.
The Arabic Part of Misinterpretation (AS+UR-MO) is smack on the 6th house cusp - indicates that AIDS is still misunderstood.
The Arabic Part of Husbandry (AS+SA-MO) is tightly conjunct Mars - reinforces the gay connotations of this chart.
Mars is separating from a square Pluto (which rules Scorpio, associated with the anatomical region of the anus and therefore related to the gay relationships) and applies to a square with retrograde Venus from Scorpio (multiple heterosexual relationships). Venus is exactly on Serpentis (the 19th degree of Scorpio, surnamed "the cursed degree of the accursed sign"). This tells us about the ways in which AIDS was transmitted: initially only by homosexual intercourse, afterwards by heterosexual relationships, becoming an epidemic, like a curse.
We may learn more on the disease by studying the hidden connections within the chart - by antiscia. Mercury is separating from a conjunction with Mars' antiscion (21°01' Scorpio) and a square with Pluto's antiscion (22°58' Aquarius), which we may interpret as indicating the spreading of AIDS initially among the young gay men.
Or, if AIDS was a disease created in a laboratory, then the 9th house of science would be involved. Mars is the traditional 9th house ruler, Pluto is the modern 9th house ruler. We see Mercury (AIDS) sepparating from a "shadow aspect" (aspect by antiscia) with both planets: separates from a conjunction with Mars' antiscion and a square with Pluto's antiscion. This might be an argument for the scientific origin of the disease. But we need more indications all pointing in the same direction in order to be certain. This is a serious issue, therefore the chart must be quite clear on it. As this is a secret issue, we should find secret or hidden connections in the chart.
Remembering that Mars, 9th ruler, represents the science, its presence in Aquarius just indicates the high-tech laboratory needed for this purpose. Mars in the 1st house (the querent) is merely showing the idea of AIDS as a manmade disease weighting on the querent. By itself, this is NOT an indication towards it being true.
But Mars is peregrine, it has no essential dignity. Could it represent an experiment that got out of control? It is quite possible...
I don't intend to support here the "conspirationist theories", I only follow the charts' indications and try to understand them:
Mars signifies the origin of the disease, meaning that Mars' dispositor may tell us who's behind this thing, who controls its evolution. That is Saturn on the 11th cusp in Sagittarius: some scientific organization. Saturn is not actually in the 11th house, but on the "dark side" of the 11th cusp and it is considered as being in the 11th: a hidden international organization. This organization is represented by the 11th house ruler: Jupiter - who is in a very, very strong position in its domicile, term and face, on the 2nd house cusp: a very powerful and rich organization. Jupiter doesn't receive Mercury not Mars, also it is retrograde and this might mean that this organization actually regrets having created or unleashed AIDS by accident and now tries to control it.
Olivia Barclay says in her book that "Jupiter, the planet of plenty, is in the second of wealth. [...] Mercury, symbol of the disease, is in the fixed sign Scorpio, 5 degrees and 4 minutes from Sagittarius, representing slightly more than 5 years until it will be disposited by Jupiter. At that time, I hope our wealth will be able to cure the disease."
While her reasoning on this may be correct, she didn't notice Mercury turning retrograde at 29 Scorpio and then going backwards, indicating that AIDS is not going to be cured effectively and completely soon.
As Mercury will not cross the sign border into Sagittarius, Jupiter's domicile, it means that the scientific organization that created it (Jupiter) will not be able to control the disease (AIDS).
So, at this point of the analysis, I don't quite agree with Olivia Barclay's conclusion from the book that there aren't astrological indications in the chart towards a manmade AIDS. As you have seen above, there actually are some strong indications supporting this theory.
Article written on June 23, 2005