Virus B-23  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Virus B-23 is a fictional disease invented by William Burroughs.

In Cities of the Red Night there is still subplot involving B-23, a mysterious disease caused by a radioactive virus, causing sexual delirium, spontaneous ejaculation of infectious radioactive semen, and death. Addiction to opiates provides some resistance to it.[1]
Written before news of the AIDS epidemic had become widely known, Burroughs writes with prophetic intuition of a sexually transmitted virus. In what is partly a detective story, partly sci-fi, characters debate "the wisdom of introducing Virus B-23 into contemporary America and Europe. Even though it might quiet the uh silent majority, who are admittedly becoming uh awkward, we must consider the biologic consequences." Of course, for Burroughs, this is also a human virus. "The whole quality of human consciousness, as expressed in male and female, is basically a virus mechanism." [2]

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Virus B-23" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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