Scientist: Aids denial a dark time for SA

2012-05-24 10:06

Cape Town - A local scientist says the years of Aids denialism under the rule of former president Thabo Mbeki was the darkest time in her career, the Cape Times reported on Thursday.

Carolyn Williamson, who heads the University of Cape Town's medical virology unit, said at a lecture on Wednesday evening it was like living in a "parallel universe".

"It was probably the darkest period of my career. It was very disconcerting from a personal perspective to be in an environment where people were questioning what we knew as truth," she was quoted as saying.

She said denialists rejected the existence of HIV, while others accepted that the virus existed, but said it did not cause Aids. Mbeki and the late health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang were at the forefront of denialism.

Williamson said the refusal to deal with a serious virus had had "serious repercussions" for the growth of the HIV epidemic. A cure for Aids was still a long way away, she said.

She told the newspaper the country would start large-scale clinical testing within the next three to five years.

"Hopefully that will bring us closer to a vaccine".

  • atholl.hay - 2012-05-24 10:24

    Mbeki and the late Dr Beetroot (good riddance!) are responsible for the deaths of thousands as a result of their ridiculous ideas which made SA the laughing stock of the medical/scientific world. Mbeki should be tried for crimes against humanity.

  • malapane.bruce - 2012-05-24 10:26

    Scientist dnt bore us pls. That is a closed chapter

      deabreu - 2012-05-24 13:40

      @Malapane,Bruce, I think most intelligent South Africans would give you their blessing to prove the scientist wrong :) Please go ahead, enjoy and let us know how the beatroot and garlic works for you. Sharp Sharp.

      Mark - 2012-05-24 15:08

      it is this kind of ostrich mentality that has caused this epidemic to spiral out of control.

      tracey.horn1 - 2012-05-24 22:00

      I think Malapane is saying that this is in the past, lets move forward. However given that 68% of the worlds AIDS suffers are in Africa, it is important that this kind of thinking never happens again.

      Michael - 2012-05-31 12:05

      I only wish people like you would get up to date with facts before replying with such would you feel to be infected in an area with no roads and services just to be told Hiv does not cause AIDS,only then might you not be suck a cocky bastartd.

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-05-24 10:32

    The world's scientist JZ found a 'cure' for aids-the shower.hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha !!!

  • David - 2012-05-24 10:56

    Someone who smokes a pipe and his then Minister of Health have blood on their hands for thier quack theories on AIDS.

      Koos - 2012-05-24 11:49

      With that logic I suppose you blame Henry Ford for all the road deaths?

  • alfredo.jordaan - 2012-05-24 10:59

    I once read a very interesting exclusive illuminati article on HIV and AIDS.Stating that HIV/Aids is synthetic and was created to control the world population. Must say i actually believe this,judge if you want but i firmly believe this!!!

      steffen.scheibler - 2012-05-24 11:10

      Must be a very exclusive article if you read it and then post about its contents in a public forum...

      Bakers - 2012-05-24 11:13

      You are entitled to believe anything you like even if it is not true. Like the moon landings. Bermuda triangle. Area 51. Who shot Kennedy? Noah’s Arc. I could go on for ever. But here's a thought what if the species jump is correct. Mmmmmmmmmm.

      Rupert - 2012-05-24 11:20

      @steffen i came across these two articles a while ago and they provided intresting reading,28804,1860871_1860876_1861031,00.html

      Phillip - 2012-05-24 11:33

      I got the same notion!

      tracey.horn1 - 2012-05-24 21:58

      I havent read the articles mentioned however if you think about it. What better way to control population by inventing a disease that attacks our only defense to other diseases that is spread via sex. Genius really.

      Michael - 2012-05-31 12:07

      Stop the weed man

  • Roger - 2012-05-24 11:04

    "The darkest period of my career" Was he hiding in a cave ??? Really!!! Jack@ss

  • Schmee - 2012-05-24 11:11

    And Zuma's shower and multiple partner stance is good?

  • fezisa.mdibi - 2012-05-24 11:12

    ......and the hiv negative people speak because they are experts in a mystery that has taken 3 decades of debate with no solution, interesting

      Johnny - 2012-05-24 11:15

      Souns like you have a solution ?

      fezisa.mdibi - 2012-05-24 11:28

      @Johnnys_Place: not at all. I just think people should do research before they start jumping up and down pointing fingers, people should read more and talk to people living with hiv more than just throwing their 2c worth in a bucket full of R5.....

      David - 2012-05-24 11:29

      Are you using the wonderful prevention method from Nkandla.. Shower after shower?

      Johnny - 2012-05-24 11:32

      But then having certain individuals in cabinet that denies the existance of HIV or at least that HIV does not cause aids will never get us as a country closer to a solution.

      fezisa.mdibi - 2012-05-24 11:43

      and which country is getting any closer to the solution at the moment or even back when Mbeki was in cabinet?

      Johnny - 2012-05-24 11:50

      Mbeki was prohibiting the issueing of arv's to the people having HIV, and Mhanto said they must eat beetroot etc. to cure HIV. Although there is still no cure, the above mentioned is one of the problems/denial we are sitting with in SA. If you have individuals like this, SA will be the last to even come close to a solution.

      fezisa.mdibi - 2012-05-24 12:20

      Buddy get your facts straight, all Mbeki was saying is that these arvs should be looked at in terms of their toxicity etc and Manto was saying people need a good diet that includes vegetables, I think that i can loudly speak about arv toxicity as I have also taken them.

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-24 18:44

      Johnny's place 1.HIV was never isolated and purified 2.there are documented cases of married couples who have unprotected sex but one is negative one positive 3.all those who took AZT in late 80s died before 94 4.Luc Mantagnier 'discoverer' of hiv says it cannot be the only cause for aids 5.Dr Roberto A .Giraldo ran an experiment where he testes undiluted samples of 'clean' individuals,all were positve ,what does that make you think 6.Janine Roberts released Gallo's original research papers,the results that were changed to fit the notion of a virus that causes aids. 7.HIV/AIDS defies epidimiology in that in europe it is still confined to gays,intravenous drug users and haemophilliacs 8what are risk groups 9.about 2500 prominent scientists including nobel laureates believe hiv is a fraud 10.all dissenting scientists are censored and defunded,why? test kit says clearly that the proteins cross react with 65 other conditions like tb 12get your head out of your ass

  • Rupert - 2012-05-24 11:41

    THIS IS NOT MY COMMENT I JUST COPIED IT AND PASTED IT HERE FOR EVERYONE TO READ AND COMMENT . In July 2000, physicians and scientists from around the world met in Durban, South Africa for the XIII International AIDS Conference. In a declaration, named after the city, 5,018 of them proclaimed that "HIV is the sole cause of AIDS."4 There are, however, at least seven anomalies that strongly suggest that this conventional wisdom is incorrect and that belief in it is blocking progress in the development of new treatments for AIDS and of novel ways of preventing its spread. To illustrate, despite widespread unprotected promiscuous sexual activity in Senegal, HIV- 1 is diffusing very slowly, if at all, amongst the Senegalese.5 It is very apparent that in Africa, differences in soil selenium levels are greatly influencing who becomes infected with HIV-1 and who does not. Indeed, the recently published Selenium World Atlas used the incidence of HIV-1 as a surrogate measure of soil selenium levels because actual levels are, as yet, poorly established in sub-Saharan Africa. A similar relationship has been documented in the United States6 where there has been an inverse relationship, especially in the Black population, between mortality from AIDS and local soil selenium levels.

      fezisa.mdibi - 2012-05-24 11:48

      @Rupert: thank you for sharing because somehow people have completely closed their eyes to anything else except the 'knowledge' that they THINK they have. Science, as far as my little understanding goes, is an evolving and continuously reviewed study, you can never say 'THIS IS IT' - there are new discoveries everyday! I think people need to talk less and listen more. And this is coming from a person who has lived with HIV for over a decade.....

      Martin - 2012-05-24 14:26

      hahahah classic

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-24 18:46

      fairy tail

  • michael.falatsi - 2012-05-24 11:46

    hae everyone has the right to practice any thing that looks right in their eyes aslong as it doesnt put other peoples life in danger.christianity is not better because it hasnt done better to improve the lifes of the poor,so people are entitle to explore other things that might work for them.look what the apartheid goverment did,the majority that goverment and those who supported it including vervoet was a christian meaning those people killed in the name of the US when they execute you the read the who are we to judge satanist people the also have rights

  • michael.falatsi - 2012-05-24 11:50

    hae everyone has the right to practice any thing that looks right in their eyes aslong as it doesnt put other peoples life in danger.christianity is not better because it hasnt done better to improve the lifes of the poor,so people are entitle to explore other things that might work for them.look what the apartheid goverment did,the majority that goverment and those who supported it including vervoet was a christian meaning those people killed in the name of the US when they execute you the read the who are we to judge satanist people the also have rights

  • denise.wilshire - 2012-05-24 11:53

    That denial is another form of genocide! I shudder to think how many were handed a death sentence during that time.

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-24 18:49

      actually Denise,people are handed the death sentence by crooks like these woman who will run to produce drugs against a virus that does not exist.The drugs themselves are toxic e.g AZT

  • mlu.mnguni - 2012-05-24 12:02

    This is exactly what happens when you mix science, politics and economics. You end with something none of these disciplines understand. Science seeks mainly to resolve mysteries while politicians love talking about stuff (sometimes regardless whether they understand or not). Economics on the other hand, keeps all these going. In simple English; you have a nation dying of Aids but acknowledging the facts will mean selling the country's soul to big pharmaceutical companies who will come in, help the situation but establish a system that a country will never come out of. So you seek other means to try and avoid the inevitable and you loose a lot of lives in the process. That is the situation Thabo Mbeki was in; Minister Tshabalala got even more carried away and made wild beetroot accusations trying avoid enslavement by pharmaceutical companies. If you know anything about HIV/Aids, then you know that the issue has gotten more political and economical than scientific. There is now a million dollar ARV industry that preys on Aids victims so much that finding a cure is not financially justifiable. In fact, if you could stand up and scream "I've got the cure" you would be at risk of loosing your life. I'm not saying the former president was right; I always believed that if someone insults you, you are at liberty to insult them back, but when you get home, take some time and think why did they say all those "stupid" things to you. That is how you learn from situations.

      antin.herinck - 2012-05-24 14:25

      "I'm not saying the former president was right" Good! He and Manto were/are responsible for the death of 350 000 Aids victims. 'Heard the other day that it could be that they were protecting the interest of big pharmaceutical companies. The "generic" medications would be c.a 10 x cheaper than the big-brands. They did not want this distributed.

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-24 18:50

      Antin please get your head out of your @ss.AIDS drugs are toxic and cause aids like symptoms.

      antin.herinck - 2012-05-25 00:05

      To all latter-day AIDS denialist and other cerebrally deprived souls. (That includes you, HugoMabasa) A new study by Harvard researchers estimates that the South African government would have prevented the premature deaths of 365,000 people earlier this decade if it had provided antiretroviral drugs to AIDS patients and widely administered drugs to help prevent pregnant women from infecting their babies. Now I'm sure that eminent brain-boxes like HugoMabasa know much better than the best brains in the world -but may I suggest that they look @ There you can also download the entire paper. Tell us, where do they go wrong? ('Know of course that you retards won't bother to look at it -spoils the fun of producing demented crap like you do here.) HugoMabasa man, it's chaps like you who show that SA has NO future, Even the computer-literate amongst you cling to utterly crazy beliefs -like what you spew here and the tokoloshes. HugoMabasa thank you -by writing this, you make it so much easier to discard anything else you write here....

  • antin.herinck - 2012-05-24 12:10

    But generally for SA, times are getting darker all the time. Thanks ANC, a dark time for all.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-05-24 12:50

    AIDS denialism is just one form of closing ones mind to a fact or facts. This denialism is much easier to do if perceiving the fact[s] personally requires some sort of prior training which we do not have. Then we have to operate on the degree of trust we have in those who tell us the fact[s]. That is why there needs to be the highest degree of honesty and integrity in scientific endeavours otherwise these endeavours are open to question and any denialists will be able to say 'See, I am right, this is just a con'. What fuels denialism? Most often it is because the fact[s] that the denialist is being confronted with are unwelcome for some or other reason. Anthropomorphic climate change, i.e. human created climate change, has many denialists world wide. Denialism is particularly evident amongst those who make their livings from industries whose processes are major contributors to climate change, oil and coal come to mind here. Denialism does not have to be complete denial, it can be partial like in the case of Eskom. Eskom does not deny that the CO2 from coal fired power stations is a major contributor to climate change, which is already wreaking massive damage in the world, and yet Eskom continues to build massive new coal fired power stations when there are known renewable energy alternatives. It is surely insane to continue with a course of action which you know is rendering the world steadily more uninhabitable.

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-24 18:51

      no one has ever isolated and purified hiv.

  • Willem - 2012-05-24 15:22

    Had this occurred under a white government it would undoubtedly have been accused of genocide and racism, crime against humanity, etc etc. But now that it was a black government it was only a dark period in a scientist's career.

  • Seena - 2012-06-15 16:53

    it is that desease to others ....isn't that clear

  • mogosilawrence.magabe - 2012-06-20 13:16

    This demonising of Mbeki by the mainstream should be brought to perspective. Many people died due to the toxicity of AZT at the time and even the west was aware that the cure was more deadly than the illness self. Dr Luc Montaigner and other scientists continue today to question the efficacy of those panaceas as well as the pharmacetical industry role in shooting down natural remedies like antioxidants, clean water and good nutrition. Even the shooting down of Zuma's shower story ,ridiculous as it does sound, does nothing but undermines the importance of basic hygiene in desease prevention.

  • mogosilawrence.magabe - 2012-06-20 13:33

    ...and of course lifestyle change as were advocated by President Mbeki and the late Dr Manto Tshabalala Msimango.

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