Thabo Mbeki was right, say HIV denialists
Aids dissidents Anthony Brink and Chris Rawlins have come out in support of former president Thabo Mbeki's views on HIV/Aids.
Brink, who has written several research books on the treatment of HIV including his most noted book Debating AZT: Mbeki and the AIDS drug controversy, said Mbeki was correct in what he wrote in his recent open letter.
"What he [Mbeki] said was the truth. The moon isn't made of cheese and a virus doesn't cause a syndrome," Brink said.
Brink said the outrage at Mbeki's stance on HIV came from white liberal establishments who had bought a story sold by America.
"The outrage comes from the people who are our 'friends'. These are the white liberalist establishment, the principally colonised and Christian Africans who bought the story from America." he said.
Brink said he and Rawlins had all the information which supported Mbeki's view on HIV and Aids on their Treatment Information Group (TIG) website.
Mbeki mentions Rawlins on his Facebook page, posting a link to his recent article challenging a Harvard University article which argued that the South African government under the Mbeki administration was responsible for deaths of many by refusing to accept available anti-retrovirals (ARVs).
In his article on the TIG website, Rawlins said this analysis demonstrated that there was no link between HIV tests and child mortality. He said the HIV/Aids hypothesis was a mathematical impossibility.
"It's really sad that there is such indoctrination and brain washing in South Africa after we have gone through the third world experience for so many years. What most South Africans don’t appreciate is the huge growing body of scientists who absolutely reject this as nonsense," Rawlins said.
In his open letter on Monday, Mbeki said he had never claimed that HIV did not cause Aids. "This false accusation was made by people who benefitted from trumpeting the slogan 'HIV causes Aids' as though this was a religious edict," he wrote.
Mbeki wrote that what he said instead was that a virus cannot cause a syndrome.
During his tenure, the former president was accused of denialism when it came to the issue of HIV/Aids.
He was slammed for policies that denied thousands of HIV-positive South Africans access to ARVs, alongside former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who gained notoriety for her promotion of lemon, garlic and olive oil to treat Aids.
"Aids is an acronym for 'Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome' – therefore Aids is a syndrome, i.e. a collection of well-known diseases, with well-known causes. They are not, together, caused and cannot be caused by one virus!
"I said that HIV might be a contributory cause of immune deficiency – the ID in Aids!," Mbeki wrote.
Mbeki said in 2006 that HIV was the ninth leading cause of death in South Africa, while tuberculosis was at the top, according to StatsSA.
Mbeki has come in for harsh criticism by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) over his views on HIV/Aids.
In a statement this week, the TAC said the impact of Mbeki's Aids denialism had been catastrophic.