Friday, August 10, 2007

HIV in South Africa

Some years ago, I recall a writer called Jad Adams, linked, I think, to the magazine 'Living marxism' - then the Revolutionary Communist party (it was neither), now the Institute of Ideas/Spiked Online, who came up with the view that HIV had no connection with AIDS. The Sunday Times took this case up for a while but abandoned it when Andrew Neil departed - I don't think they would recall this as their finest hour.

Unfortunately, South African President Mbeki still seems to think that this sort of quackery is worth listening to. He has dismissed his deputy health minister who was pursuing sane policies based on supply of anti-retroviral drugs. No doubt the policies of the health minister, including the use of beetroot and garlic - and - lets be frank - treatment via witch doctor - will be revived. With Mbeki's likely successor being someone who thinks that you won't become HIV+ if you take a shower after sex, the future is not looking hopeful. South Africa continues to have one of the worst AIDS problems in the world.

And the limitied success of other schemes are being threatened by Bush's insistence on abstention-based sex education in order to receive money.

Blood on their hands, the lot of them

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