‘Aids cure’ adverts alert

2009-08-08 00:00

THE Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) plans to start regulating the advertising of so-called HIV and Aids cures after receiving complaints from customers who claim they were duped by false advertising.

In one case, the ASA received a complaint against Dr Mkhize Health Care, which advertised in a pamphlet that its herbal concoction could cure HIV and Aids.

The advert states: “Ababe HIV/Aids positive namhlanje sebe negative” (Those who used to be HIV/Aids positive are now negative).

This advert and others offering cures for HIV and Aids has caused concern for the ASA who hope to work closely with municipalities and police to curb these adverts.

ASA spokeswoman Corne Koch said the ASA issued an advertisement alert to newspapers and broadcast houses after it failed to get a response from the advertiser, a Dr P. Mkhize.

The ASA ruled the advertisement is in contravention of clause 4.2.1 of section ii and appendix f of the code, as there is no cure for HIV and Aids.

When Weekend Witness contacted traditional healer Petros Mkhize, he said that there are no “lies” in his advertisement and that he has cured thousands with his product.

The medication retails for R350 a bottle and the patient has to take three tablespoons a day.

He said the tonic, which is made from natural herbs, helped his patients increase their CD4 count and eventually tests showed that his patients were HIV-negative.

Mkhize denied that his pamphlets are false advertising as he believes his product works.

Koch said that while it is difficult to monitor pamphlet advertising, the ASA is looking at ways to monitor these forms of advertising.

“We cannot retract all the advertising so we are looking at ways to regulate this. We are hoping to work with police to stop these false adverts.”

She said the ASA only works on consumer complaints, but has plans to clamp down on advertisers who advertise medications and treatment to cure HIV and Aids. — OC.

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