Manipulations and misrepresentation of scientific facts only serve to fuel HIV/AIDS 30 May 2003
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University, Newcastle Australia

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Re: Manipulations and misrepresentation of scientific facts only serve to fuel HIV/AIDS

In a recent news article(1) The University of Natal vice-chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba:

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said there was little doubt that HIV caused Aids, as had been demonstrated by many carefully conducted experiments and clinical case studies. In contrast, there was no evidence that common African conditions such as poverty, malnutrition, and many chronic infectious diseases by themselves, singly or in combination, caused the characteristic immunodeficiency typical of Aids -- the progressive depletion of CD4+ cells.

"To conflate causation with cofactors through a mixture of pseudoscientific statements is scientifically and politically dangerous in societies where denial, chauvinism, fear and ignorance are rampant," Makgoba said.

He said that when taking history into account, it was not impossible to explain the mistrust that existed amongst South Africans towards perceived Western science and medicine.

"However, in such societies, the manipulations and misrepresentation of scientific facts only serve to fuel an epidemic such as HIV/Aids."

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Some other good news(2) from South Africa - Dr Fareed Abdullah, the head of AIDS in the Western Cape:

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"triple-therapy treatment for all pregnant women with HIV was now firmly on the cards for South Africa"
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Glad the truth is getting through where it matters most.

References:

(1) Politics Has Subverted Aids Debate: Vice-Chancellor. South African Press Association (Johannesburg) May 23, 2003 http://allafrica.com/stories/200305240257.html

(2) Cape's HIV War Hots Up Cape Argus (Cape Town) Di Caelers. May 26, 2003 http://allafrica.com/stories/200305260021.html

Competing interests:   None declared