The priority should be to preserve humanity 1 March 2003
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Richard G Fiddian-Green,

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Re: The priority should be to preserve humanity

The call for the "discussion of AIDS in South Africa .... to move beyond a simplistic "for or against" stance on President Mbeki's denial of a connection between HIV and AIDS" is appropriate for the conflict misses the primary issues(1). As the WHO data, reviewed in yesterday's Financial Times, show population growth is out of control in Africa and elsewhere unless the AIDS story is real. Herein lies the rub for the AIDS story is simply not credible (2,3). Concealing the truth or manipulating the facts to achieve some hidden agenda is suicidal if, as I have argued, disproportionate population explosion and its accompanying environmental destruction threatens not only peace but also the survival of man on earth

Our first priority should be to define the threats to the human race and the actions that need to be taken, if necesary, to deal with them in a timely manner. All other agendas are of lessr importance. The problem is that there may be an irresistable temptation to fiddle the figures to secure the less important and potentially divisive agendas. Perhaps, therefore, we should begin with a full disclosure of all hidden agendas and the means that are being used to pursue them in the spirit of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We cannot, however, afford to delay resolution by working at the pace customary in the UN.

1. The politics of AIDS in South Africa: beyond the controversies Didier Fassin and Helen Schneider BMJ 2003; 326: 495-497

2. HIV/AIDS: the biggest error? Richard G Fiddian-Green, 4 Apr 2000

3. Let us call a spade a spade Richard G Fiddian-Green, 20 Jan 2003

Competing interests:   None declared