The scientific evidence for HIV/AIDS

New study confirms that AIDS denialism caused more than 330 000 deaths in South Africa

Thabo MbekiThabo Mbeki: Let hundreds of thousands of his people die while president of South AfricaA new study published in the Journal of AIDS has confirmed earlier estimates by AIDSTruth contributor Nicoli Nattrass that hundreds of thousands AIDS deaths could have been averted by timeous roll-out of antiretroviral therapy in South Africa. The new study by Chigwedere et al. used a model to estimate that more than 330,000 lives or approximately 2.2 million person-years were lost because a feasible and timely ARV treatment program was not implemented in South Africa. Thirty-five thousand babies were born with HIV, resulting in 1.6 million person-years lost by not implementing a mother-to-child transmission prophylaxis program using nevirapine. The total lost benefits of ARVs are at least 3.8 million person-years for the period 2000-2005. This confirms Nattrass's earlier estimates using the ASSA2003 demographic model, which suggested that if the national government had used ARVs for prevention and treatment at the same rate as the Western Cape (which defied national policy on ARVs), then about 171,000 HIV infections and 343,000 deaths could have been prevented between 1999 and 2007. The Guardian and New York times report on the new study.

Nattrass, N. AIDS and the Scientific Governance of Medicine in Post-Apartheid South Africa. African Affairs 2008 107(427):157-176.

Chigwedere, P. et al. Estimating the Lost Benefits of Antiretroviral Drug Use in South Africa. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 49(4):410-415, December 1, 2008.