South Africa will use World Aids Day tomorrow to launch a plan that turns away from years of denial and obfuscation over the disease by President Thabo Mbeki and his health minister, which critics say have cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The new strategy follows a shift in power that sidelined the health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who was accused of promoting pseudo-scientific policies while Aids claims nearly 1,000 lives a day in South Africa.
She was removed from responsibility for HIV policy while ill in hospital, weeks after embarrassing the government at the international Aids conference in Toronto by promoting a diet of garlic and beetroot as a serious alternative to drugs in treating HIV. Leading Aids scientists called Dr Tshabalala-Msimang’s views “immoral” and demanded she be sacked. A senior UN official said her claims belonged to the “lunatic fringe”.
[Article continues at link. Thank goodness the United States relies on more reliable and scientific policies for diminishing the spread of HIV, such as prayer and abstenance.]