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Posts Tagged ‘Mbeki

AIDS denial on the retreat…

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When I was writing “Don’t Get Fooled Again”, Thabo Mbeki was still President of South Africa, with the extraordinary Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as his minister of health. AIDS denial was still exerting its malign influence after reaching a high point in 2000, when Mbeki had – to the delight of AIDS denialists the world over – invited a number of self-described “dissidents” to join his advisory panel on HIV and AIDS.

Abrupt change came only this September, with Mbeki’s ignominious exit from office, and the replacement of many of his closest allies. South Africa’s new health minister Barbara Hogan has stated unequivocally that HIV is the cause of AIDS, and ordered decisive action to tackle the disease.

In October, to the further consternation of the small but vocal group who continue to deny that HIV exists, the virologist Luc Montagnier was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his discovery of the virus during the early 1980s.

Workers in South Africa yesterday observed a minute’s silence on World AIDS Day, in memory of the hundreds of thousands who have died from the disease.


Written by Richard Wilson

December 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm

South African government turns its back on AIDS denial

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Hot on the heels of the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki – and the removal of his notorious Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the South African government has drawn a line under the era of AIDS denial that began soon after Mbeki’s accession to the Presidency in 1999.

President Motlanthe’s new Health Minister, Barbara Hogan, who was reportedly one of the few MPs to speak out on HIV and AIDS during Mbeki’s time in office, made a speech at an international AIDS vaccine conference in Cape Town in which she stated unequivocally that HIV causes AIDS, and that time had been lost in the struggle against the disease.

Written by Richard Wilson

October 15, 2008 at 6:00 am