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Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism and the Struggle for Anti-retrovirals in South Africa


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Nicoli Nattrass's new book Mortal Combat: The Struggle for Antiretrovirals in South Africa (published by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press) tells the story of South African President Mbeki's adoption of AIDS denialist ideas and the tragic consequences for AIDS policy in South Africa. It exposes the strategy and tactics employed by AIDS denialists all over the world to undermine the use of antiretrovirals (ARVs) for both HIV prevention and AIDS treatment.

"Many lives have been lost because of AIDS denialism, but nowhere has the impact been as dire as in South Africa," says Dr. Nattrass. "According to some estimates, at least 170,000 HIV infections and 340,000 deaths could have been prevented with an aggressive, nationwide roll-out ARVs to HIV-infected pregnant women and people with HIV/AIDS in need of these lifesaving medications."