Roger Waters, legendary musician and founding member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, died today after a two-year battle with a rare form of AIDS most commonly found in dogs. He was 79 years old.
Waters, who was on the road for his “This Is Not a Drill” tour, was believed to be in good health in recent months, and his death surprised family and friends.
“His case of AIDS was very mild,” said family friend John Heroin. “He used to joke around and start barking before he would vomit or pass out, pretending to be a dog with AIDS.”
Dog AIDS is rarely found in humans, says Dr. Jean Glimpski of the HIV/AIDS Research Center at Ohio State University.
“It’s called Dog AIDS because dogs get it, not humans,” Dr. Glimpski explained. “Humans typically get plain AIDS, which is the most common variation of the syndrome.”
Glimpski said the only other case she could recall involved a man who volunteered at an animal shelter and frequently had unprotected sex with canines.
“It’s extremely unlikely to contract Dog AIDS by having sex with a dog once or twice, but if you allowed dozens of infected animals to penetrate your anus, especially one after another while your anus was sore or bleeding, the odds increase dramatically,” Glimpski said. “That may be what happened here, but it is impossible to know for sure.”
Waters never explained the origination of his Dog AIDS and rarely commented on the illness.
All 2023 tour stops for “This Is Not a Drill” have been canceled, and ticket holders are being refunded.