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Justice After AIDS Denialism: Should There Be Prosecutions and Compensation?

01 July 2009

AIDSTruth member and Treatment Action Campaign treasurer Nathan Geffen writes in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:

Edward MabundaEdward Mabunda

Edward Mabunda died on April 9, 2003. At least another 600 people died of AIDS in South Africa that day.(1) Edward was just 36 years old. He left behind a wife and 3 children. He was also a leader in the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He became an icon of the movement because of the fiery poetry that he recited to thousands of people. His poems urged former President Thabo Mbeki to make antiretrovirals (ARVs) available in South Africa’s public health system. He died because he could not obtain these life-saving medicines in time.(2)

From 1999 to 2007, Mbeki and his Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang obstructed and then undermined the implementation of highly active ARV treatment (HAART) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the public health system. Two studies, conducted independently of each other, conservatively calculated that over 300,000 people died because of Mbeki’s AIDS denialist policies.(3–5) Edward Mabunda was one of them. These studies could not account for additional deaths due to the promotion of quackery, often with the health minister’s support. They also did not consider the number of infections that occurred because of the confusion generated by the insipid state-funded prevention campaign and the messages by some outspoken Mbeki supporters dismissing the link between sex and HIV infection.(6) The Mbeki era also fostered a profound mistrust of scientific medicine, the consequences of which also cannot be quantified.

Read the full article in JAIDS.

Or, if you don't have a subscription, read it at Denying AIDS and other odditites.

Reference: JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: June 30, 2009 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181ab6da2


House of Numbers

An AIDS denialist film "House of Numbers" is doing the rounds at film festivals and is being promoted to college campuses and similar venues. AT has published several items about the misinformation contained in the film. For comprehensive information on the lies and distortions in the film, visit Inside House of Numbers.


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