The idiotic South African AIDS policy

Reading the NRC Handelsblad of yesterday, I come across this article. For those of you who don’t read Dutch, here is the BBC’s version of more or less the same issues.

In short, the South African government, and specifically the intellectually (greatly) challenged minister of health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, believe that AIDS and HIV should be treated with cutting-edge medication such as garlic, lemons and beetroots. To add insult to injury, at the South African stall at the international AIDS conference in Toronto, representatives were demonstrating said garlic, lemons and beetroots.

I agree heartily with the strong criticism of Stephen Lewis (UN special envoy for AIDS in Africa) and of the protesters demanding that Tshabala-Msimang be arrested for her crimes against the South African people. It’s bad enough that Mbeki (the president) denied the link between HIV and AIDS for years, and that Zuma (yet another idiot member of the SA government) recently claimed that showering after unprotected sex decreases the chance of infection.

Remember: Every day, 800 South Africans die of AIDS.

3 thoughts on “The idiotic South African AIDS policy”

  1. Transcript of an interview from 702’s John Robbie a while back with the honourable minister…

    “Robbie: You have said that the policy of the ministry is well known. Do you accept that HIV causes Aids?

    Tshabalala-Msimang: Why do you ask me that question today? I have answered that question umpteen times.

    R: Yes, and the answer is?

    T-M: Umpteen times I have answered that question. My whole track record of having worked at the area of HIV and Aids for the last 20 years is testimony. Why should you ask me that question today?

    R: You haven’t answered the question, Manto.

    T-M: Why should you ask me that question?

    R: To avoid confusion.

    T-M: I have never said anything contrary to what you want me to say today.

    R: So, therefore, you accept that HIV causes Aids.

    T-M: You are not going to put words into my mouth.

    R: I am not putting words into your mouth. I am asking you a question.

    T-M: Yes you are.

    R: I am asking you a straight – now hold on a second – I am asking you a straight question, the minister of health of South Africa, I am asking you a question: does HIV cause Aids?

    T-M: I have been party to developing a strategic framework and that strategy testifies what my policy understandings of the HIV epidemic are. If you haven’t read that, please go and read it. And then you
    will understand where I depart from.

    R: Manto, Manto. A simple yes or no is the answer I am looking for.

    T-M: You will not force me into a corner into saying yes or no.

    R: I am not forcing you into a corner, I am asking you a straight question – I find your reaction bizarre.

    T-M: I would advise you to read the strategic framework. You have to analyse it. It is important for the media to inform the public about the positions of government … It is time that when you interview people, not on yes or no, but on the tenets of the framework.

    R: Manto, we have gone as far as we can go. I find your reaction to that question absolutely bizarre and that is my final word on it.

    T-M: I am not Manto to you. Let me tell you I am not Manto to you.

    R: What are you?

    T-M: I am the minister of health and I don’t even know you.

    R: So, what must I address you as, Miss Minister or Ms Minister or Mrs Minister?

    T-M: I don’t know whatever you address me, but I am not a friend.

    R: How must I address you?

    T-M: I don’t know – but you have to read the strategic framework.

    R: Bizarre.

    T-M: And I …

    R: Oh go away!

    T-M: And I am …”

  2. That really scares me.

    While (the severely intellectually challenged) Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is still minister of health, there really is no hope for AIDS policy reform.

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