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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The End of an Error: AIDS Denialist & Former South African Health Minister 'Manto' has Died

The former South African Health Minister 'Manto' has died.

I sat behind Manto at the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto. We were in the session where at least a few dozen AIDS activists, mostly from the Treatment Action Campaign, filed up on the stage leading a call for Manto to resign or be fired. I was struck by her detachment. I remember thinking that she was so unmoved by the scene she was either in another world or had simply gotten used to people hating her. My own impression was that she was not dealing from a full deck of cards. Nearly catatonic. At that moment she seemed like a sad case. A throwback to my days working on psychiatric inpatient units.

Manto will be, and should be remembered as the person who implemented Mbeki’s AIDS denialist policies. Manto may very well have been the perfect person to serve as Mbeki’s Minister of AIDS Denial. But let us not forget that these were Mbeki’s policies. Manto was certainly complacent in AIDS Denialism, but she was not the architect. Manto played a critical role in the death of over 350,000 of her people and the senseless HIV infections of 35,000 babies. She also received personal counsel from Matthias Rath and Roberto Giraldo. Her legacy is theirs.

UPDATE: New York Times Story

AP Reports
CELEAN JACOBSON, Associated Press Writer

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's former health ministerManto Tshabalala-Msimang, who gained notoriety for her dogged promotion of lemons, garlic and olive oil to treat AIDS, has died. She was 69.

The ruling African National Congress said Tshabalala-Msimang died in a Johannesburg hospital Wednesday from complications related to a 2007 liver transplant. Media outlets said she was possibly undergoing tests for a possible second transplant when she died.

Tshabalala-Msimang's disastrous HIV policies during her nine years in office made her the most unpopular government minister in post-apartheid South Africa.

She was ridiculed locally and internationally and nicknamed "Dr. Beetroot" — another one of her suggested AIDS remedies — and "Dr. Garlic."

However, she was responsible for some advances. She improved basic services in rural areas, forced down the price of medicine, tried to stem the exodus of doctors and nursesto rich countries, and was one of the driving forces behind a global anti-tobacco treaty.

A former anti-apartheid activist, she spent nearly 30 years in exile.
"We pay homage to this gallant fighter and will forever treasure the contribution she made in the struggle for liberation and the building of our democracy," the ANC said in a statement.

Tshabalala-Msimang had a loyal defender in her close friend, former President Thabo Mbeki, partly because of his own doubts about the link between HIV and AIDS. She was replaced in 2008 after Mbeki was ousted by the ANC.

Tshabalala-Msimang and Mbeki have been blamed for not preventing over 300,000 deaths, according toHarvard University study. There have been calls by activists for them to be charged with genocide.

South Africa, a nation of about 50 million, has the world's largest number of HIV cases with some 5.7 million people infected with the virus.
The country's two subsequenthealth ministers have won praise for breaking with Tshabalala-Msimang's confrontational approach.

Reaction to Tshabalala-Msimang's death was muted and sympathetic.
"We don't wish ill on any human being even though we had a very difficult time with her as minister of health," Vuyiseka Dubula of the Treatment Action Campaign, a group she often clashed with, told the South African Press Association.

AIDS activists blamed Tshabalala-Msimang for spreading confusion aboutAIDS. They won a landmark court case against the ministry in 2002 to force it to provide pregnant women with drugs to stop them infecting their unborn child; and in 2003 to give antiretroviral therapy to people in the more advanced stages of the disease.
Tshabalala-Msimang repeatedly stressed her mistrust of antiretroviral medicine, saying too little was known about the side effects.

"All I am bombarded about is antiretrovirals, antiretrovirals," she said at a 2005 media conference. "There are other things we can be assisted in doing to respond to HIV/AIDS in this country."

Tshabalala-Msimang's recommendation was to use nutritional remedies such as olive oil, the African potato, beetroot, garlic and lemon.

"Raw garlic and a skin of the lemon — not only do they give you a beautiful face and skin but they also protect you from disease," she said.

Her views — which made her a favorite target for cartoonists — reflected mistrust in traditional African societies of "Western" remedies and earned her loyal supporters.
She shrugged off constant calls for her resignation, which reached a crescendo at the August 2006international AIDS conference in Toronto, where the South African stand featured displays of garlic and lemons.

In a devastating speech to the conference, the then-United Nations envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, slammed the government's policies as "more worthy of a lunatic fringe than of a concerned and compassionate state."

Tshabalala-Msimang continued as a cabinet minister under the caretaker presidency ofKgalema Motlanthewho replaced Mbeki. But she was not given a post after President Jacob Zuma was elected earlier this year.

However, she remained on theANC's national executive committee.

Tshabalala-Msimang was born near Durban Oct. 9, 1940. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Fort Hare in 1962 — just after the African National Congress was banned — and shortly after that was ordered into exile with 27 other students who had been singled out for their leadership potential.

When she said she was leaving for exile, her mother implored: "Please do something for me if I should never see you again — become a medical doctor," according to the Department of Health.

Tshabalala-Msimang graduated from the First Leningrad Medical Institute and then went on to gain a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Antwerp in Belgium. She worked at hospitals in Tanzania andBotswana and returned toSouth Africa as apartheid was crumbling in 1990.

She was elected to parliament at the first democratic multiparty elections in 1994, was named deputy justice minister in 1996 and health minister in June 1989.
She was married to Mendi Msimang, a former ANC treasurer, and had two daughters.

Funeral details have not yet been announced.


  1. She obviously did do some good things for her country. It's just too bad that others found a weakness in her beliefs and preyed upon them and perpetuated their own agenda thru her. Thus these people are not only responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, but also in damning this woman's legacy. Although let's be honest. Anyoe who thinks that garlic and beets are cures for anything, even for hangnails, should probably not have been anywhere near a "Health Minister" position!
    i.e. She was, as they say in Texas, "easy pickins"!

  2. Hello,

    I discovered the whole AIDS controversy only recently, and it's certainly an interesting topic.

    I have read the "denialists" and the "truthers" .. but whatever.

    in one of your earlier posts you said that Montagnier was "misquoted" in house of numbers. I have found now a youtube video with the un-cut footage:

    How can this be misquoted? The interviewer very clearly asks whether the body can naturally get rid of HIV, and Montagnier says yes.

    As I said, I am torn. So a honest comment by you is welcome. Just watch the video, I can't find any cuts or manipulation.

  3. There is a long posting and subsequent discussion of what Luc Montagnier did and not did say in that interview, located elsewhere on this particular Blog (a separate thread), and another one on the Snoutworld Blog. You should consult those discussions, ignoring anything written by the AIDS denialists, and then you'll understand the depths of deception involved in House of Numbers. For yet more, and accurate, information on this topic, go to and

    John Moore

  4. You should just watch the video for yourselves and make up your own mind. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  5. Can you clarify just how many people she is responsible for killing? you list over 350,000 adults and 35,000 babies. This seems at odds with other quoted numbers?

    What did she die of?

  6. Yes that is right John.
    The Montagnier scam is discussed on the previous post..that actually concerns the bogus autopsy of Christine Maggiore.

    On Dec 16 on that thread, Michael Geiger asked a similar question. Here is my response pasted in as it applies again here...

    Without the concocted context of Meister Leung, Montagnier's statement is perfectly sensible. See Snout, Poodlestomper, Chris, Moore, JTD's etc comments above on this thread.

    Montagnier said...
    "We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected. Our immune system can get rid of the virus in a few weeks, if you have a good immune system."

    I agree. Of course. He is speaking of exposures.

    You know Michael, actually I believe you know quite well, that people are exposed to HIV and do not become infected. This is especially true for sexual transmission.

    There are protective mechanisms in tissue that clear pathogens. That is why HIV transmission is more likely during anal than vaginal intercourse, and why both are more likely to confer transmission than oral intercourse.

    Disruption of those protective mechanisms is why Herpes and other ulcers increase transmission risks.

    If I could get my hands on House of Numbers, I would remix to remove Brent and the other denialists who create the context to confuse people. What you would see is that Montagnier, Moore, Curran, Fauci, and yes even the Evil Dr. Gallo say nothing that is inconsistent with the well established facts of HIV/AIDS.

  7. That is great Bill.

    It is good to know that you refuse to take prescription meds. Enjoy your next coffee enema, why not treat yourself to an Asspresso or Crapachino some time. Your blog comments will be your memorial.

  8. Anonymous 7:53AM asked..
    "Can you clarify just how many people she is responsible for killing? you list over 350,000 adults and 35,000 babies. This seems at odds with other quoted numbers? What did she die of?"

    My understanding is that Manto died of complications from liver disease.Manto had a liver transplant a few years back. Credible reports are that she had a bit of a drinking problem. My guess is self-medicating. Unlike Rath and Rasnick she likely had a conscience and was haunted by her role.

    You are correct, the numbers vary slightly because there are actually a few models that all come in around the same, but not exact. It is safe to say at least 300,000 people senselessly died because of Mbeki's AIDS denialist policies - the shining days of wonder for Duesberg and his cronies. I believe that most horrific are the 35,000 babies born with HIV that could have been prevented if not for Mbeki/Manto's blockade of donated ARVs.

  9. Michael Geiger has left a new comment on your post "The End of an Error: AIDS Denialist & Former South...":

    The masses "wonder what made Manto do it. What made her unravel on HIV/AIDS?”

    When Mbeki called for the coming together of all scientists on all sides of the hiv debate, Manto was as cold as ice toward the dissident scientists, UNTIL she looked for herself at all of the data. Manto personally attended every meeting and personally read every study. What she found astounded her. She found that the HIV tests are nonspecific and can show as false positive for nearly seventy conditions that have nothing to do with HIV. She found there is NO WAY to verify anyone has HIV. She found there is NO EVIDENCE with any reasonable degree of proof, that shows that even if hiv is present, that it could possibly be the cause of AIDS. She found the aids drugs, particularly AZT, to be deadly toxic. She found that NONE of the aids drugs had ever been tested against placebo, and that all were fast-tracked through the American fda by the drug companies. She found the orthodoxy of hiv beliefs could not support any of their claims.

    Yes, she was cold as ice to the dissidents UNTIL she herself read all of those studies and attended all of those meetings. After the meetings were finished, she found herself dancing the pata pata with the dissident side. But as the public itself was still entranced by belief in hiv as the culprit, she found herself on the outside of popular belief, and found herself to be demonized by all those who had not and would not look at the actual research and studies as she herself and as Thabo himself had done.

    Fools that men are, we the living fail to understand that history is written in the future. Again and again history all too often shows that what were once popular beliefs or even delusions were wrong, and that those who pointed such out such wrongs while the delusions were active were all demonized at the time, then later canonized and made heros by future historians for what they had done to try to wake up the very masses who rejected them. This will again be the case when history books are written about this issue in our collective future. The masses were wrong and deluded once again. HIV is not, was not, and could not be the cause of aids, and eventually history will vindicate the dissidents, and make even greater heros of Manto and Thabo. Those who are not so easily deluded or overtaken by their own fears and paranoias, and who have been free of bias who have personally studied the issue and the science have been speaking out on this for 20 years. Manto and Thabo are indeed greater heros than the current generations who demonize them could ever believe. They did their very best to wake the world up to this, and the world did nothing but demonize them in return.

    Again I point out the recent interview with Dr. Luc Montagnier. Montagnier received the Nobel prize one year ago for his discovery of HIV.

    In this video, we clearly hear the discoverer of HIV tell us EXACTLY what Manto herself said about hiv. We find she is vindicated.

  10. Gee Michael
    You seem to know so much about Manto. Why not tell us just how many times you have been to South Africa? When was the last time you talked with a South African? You sure know the details, you must go there quite a bit. You know, of course, that Mbeki and Mandela are both Xhosa and yet the reasons they describe for their approaches to HIV/AIDS were quite different. Tell us Michael, what is about Xhosa culture that brought Mandela to his approach and why was that not the case for Mbeki?

    And hey, Anthony Brink, no cheating.

    And what exactly is it that Montagnier says that vindicates Manto?

  11. If mad, mental, Michael did not exist, we would need to invent him! Together with Henry "Nessie" Bauer, he represents the lightweight lunatic fringe that so turns off anyone who is superficially attracted to the RA group. Sitting alone in a loft in San Diego, connected to the world only by an internet cable, riddled with his survivor guilt and unable to come to terms with the death of his friends from HIV/AIDS, the world must look a sad and lonely place to Michael. But don't worry, Celia, Henry and David still love you! As to the Perthies? Well, that's another matter entirely! Whereas we find you to be an amusing and frothy dimension to AIDS denial, they truly loathes you! And once the Perthies take over the AIDS denialist movement completely, what will your future be, Michael? Even more lonely and friendless.........

  12. In addition to what Seth said, Mikey, how many times do people need to explain why HIV drugs after AZT's approval are not tested against placebo? Are you truly that dense?

  13. So, at the risk of taking anything he writes too seriously, let me see if I understand what Michael Geiger's latest bizarre posting means? He, who was not important enough to be included in the RA Group's delegation to South Africa and who has probably never visited the country, seems to be saying something like this:

    A crazy and under-qualified health minister was initially unimpressed with a bunch of crazy and under-qualified AIDS denialist "scientists", but soon grew to love them all, and then history changed.

    Well, it's certainly true that history changed, and vastly for the worse, with over 350,000 people dying unnecessarily as a result of that cuckoo-quack love-fest.

    Manto dying takes her out of the loop for judicial punishment at the hands of the survivors of those she helped to slaughter. Let's see what history will reveal about the eventual fates of Mbeki and his foreign "advisors". But don't worry, Michael, you'll not be put in the dock, as you were never influential enough in the RA group to be asked to advise Mbeki (or anyone else). Nobody cares what you think, after all!

    John Moore
    PS This is an authentic posting from me, as opposed to the ones that Michael Geiger has faked in my name on this and other Blogs.

  14. Michael,

    Hey, I enjoyed your post. Don't let these nimwits pile on. They really like AZT, think it's a wonder drug.

  15. AZT is STILL one of the most important HIV drugs and has (in combination with other ARVs) helped save the lives of millions of people worldwide, and has helped prevent hundreds of thousands of babies from becoming infected with HIV and dying of AIDS. If Christine Maggiore had had the common sense to use it she would probably have been alive today, and so would Eliza-Jane. But the two of them were killed by the propaganda and myths perpetrated by fools like Bill and Michael Geiger. Yes, like all drugs, including cancer chemotherapy, it needs to be dosed with care and only taken when needed. It's a lifesaver, though, and nearly twenty years of clinical experience prove it, as do hundreds of scientific publications on the benefits of AZT-containing regimens to the people who need it most.

    And if Bill comes back and alleges that, in the very early days of HIV therapy, some people were harmed by AZT, that's never been proven and, in any case, those doses were very much higher than what is now used in drug cocktails. The people given the high AZT doses (as monotherapy) were dying of AIDS, were desperate for anything that might give them a chance of living, and knew the risks of experimental therapy through the "informed consent" process. The "AZT kills" story is yet another AIDS denialist myth. HIV kills, AZT helps prevent that.

    No, Bill, AZT is not a "wonder drug", but it's a damn good one! Kudos to the NCI and Burroughs Wellcome for making it available to HIV+ people.

  16. will she also be remembered for taking on the pharma industry and forcing them to let SA bypass patent rights and get affordable treatment?
    An inconvienient truth everybody seems to want to forget. Is it the denialists or the despicable posturing and stonewalling of the pharma industry that made her doubt HIV AIDS?

  17. Anonymous
    Good point...
    But I suspect we all have forgotten that Adolf Hitler pulled Germany out of the Depression. Bad can overshadow good.
    That is too bad.
    And as I said in my post, no one convinced Manto of anything. She was following her leader.

  18. Anyone who wants to enjoy a good read should visit the WSJ website today and look over David Aaronovitch's outstanding article on conspiracy theories and the kinds of idiots who believe in them.

    He's also written a book on the same general subject, called 'Voodoo Histories', that I can personally recommend. Together with Seth's own tour de force, Michael Specter's 'Denialism', Paul Offit's 'Autism's False Prophets' and Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science', it's one of my choices as "Books of the Year". All these books expose the idiocies of the various, and often overlapping, small groups of people who oppose sound science and evidence-based medicine. Clearly, some very skilled writers are now starting to take down these groups. And not before time, given how people they've harmed.

    Although the WSJ article only mentions AIDS denialism in one sentence (its focus is on other groups of loonies), the comments thread has already been completely hijacked by the AIDS denialist 'usual suspects', posting the same tired drivel they always recycle. I guess they fail to see the irony involved in posting solid EVIDENCE that they are nutty conspiracy theorists on a thread discussing nutty conspiracy theorists...... I'm sure David Aaronovitch will see the point, however.

    Or perhaps the AIDS denialists are just jealous that other groups of cuckoos and loony-toons got all the attention in this particular article? Maybe there's competition among the various internet-based denialist groups?

    "We're the nuttiest people in the world".

    "No, our group is a lot crazier than yours, and we can PROVE it!!! Here's the EVIDENCE!!!!!"

    "Don't believe you, we're DEFINITELY wackier than you, and what's more other people AGREE WITH US that we're way out there."

    It would be laughable if it weren't so tragic.

  19. Brazil and India (amongst others) took on the important issues of patent rights and expanded access to ARVs without embracing AIDS denialism and quack remedies. These problems are clearly capable of a solution without the resort to foolishness. But, as Seth notes, Manto was doing Mbeki's bidding. Of course Mbeki fell under the thrall of a bunch of renegade scientists with no direct knowledge of HIV/AIDS - and that was the root cause of South Africa's tragedy of the early 2000s.

  20. I have to admit that the WSJ article is a good one --a lot of nutty stuff people believe. Clinton killed Vince Foster? A second shooter on the Grassy Knoll killed JFK? Total rubbish, I say.

    The one interesting thing in the comments is the comparison is between two M.D.s, Dr. Marco Ruggiero and Dr. Nick Bennett.

    Dr. Ruggiero is an MD, has a PhD in molecular biology, worked at the NIH for 7 years, and worked in the lab of Stuart Aaronson, a well-published, well-repected scientist.

    Nick Bennett is a talentless buffoon, lost somewhere in artic Buffalo NY, who has accomplished nothing of any significance in his mediocre career.

  21. Bill

    I posted this comment. You're welcome.

    Try to come back to the focus of this thread. I know you are easily distracted.

    It does not surprise anyone that you can see the craziness of conspiracy theories except for the ones you believe in. I have had similar conversations with 9/11 Truth Seekers... they think AIDS Denialists must be nuts but are convinced that the the World Trade Center came down in a controlled demolition.

    Poor insight is common to thought disorders, such as maladaptive denial.

  22. I think Bill has made a typo in his last post. What he surely meant to say was

    "Clark Baker is a talentless buffoon, lost somewhere in Los Angeles, CA, who has accomplished nothing of any significance in his mediocre career."

    Nick Bennett, on the other hand, is a well qualified and highly skilled pediatrician and infectious disease specialist who has helped save the lives of very many HIV-infected children.

    Marco Ruggiero? His contributions to AIDS research or treatment strategies are.........? Answers on the back of a postage stamp to Seth please. We all know that the mere possession of a doctoral degree does not make one a sage, or even someone qualified to be an expert witness in a court case. Look, for example, at "Drs" Peter Duesberg, Harvey Bialy and Valendar Turner, to name but three.

  23. Nick Bennett is NOT a buffoon! He is ME! Oh, wait, NO, he's Snout! Oooppss, sorry, Bennett is actually Poodlestomper! Damn, I got confused again. Bennett is actually Moore, no Noble, no Foley!
    Oh, hell, I'm confused. But what else is new? These damn HIV drugs have given me dementia! Oh, wait no. They've given me lypodystrophy! No, they just make me look old! No, wait, they've made me incredibly healthy, but I'm still on Disability Insurance!
    Never mind.

  24. Dr. Kalichman

    I think you are being too hard on Bill.
    I believe his comment is relevant to this post.

    He says that all MD's are equal, like Drs. Ruggiero and Bennett. That is what you say in your book is confusing credentials with credibility.

    Manto herself was an MD.

    Having the degree means nothing. It is what you do with it.

    For me, I do not hand over authority as easily as Bill. I am a true skeptic. Just because someone has an MD or PhD does not get them credibility. I take the time to look them up in places like MedLine...

    When I looked up Dr. Ruggiero I saw that his most recent publication was retracted from a journal called Medical Hypotheses.

    I do not think having an article retracted exactly screams out credibility.

    Manto was appointed Minister of Health by an AIDS Denialist. Does that give her credibility?

    Bill seems to be following the AIDS Deniers around with his head up their butts.... To me that is not a skeptic, more like a septic.

    Good Day.

  25. I can see that Mr. Geiger did not respond to you Seth. Let me respond for him...

    "Of course I have never been to Africa. I have only left San Diego twice in my life..once to attend the Clean Hands Award given to Peter and Celia in Washington and once to attend the Rethinking Conference in Oakland. It is great that my doctors now let me travel overnight, but I doubt that I could get a passport - I am still considered dangerous to myself.

    I do not need to go to Africa to know the truth about AIDS and Africa. I know what Dr. Bauer says is true, even though he has never been there either. I mean he says Blacks have different immune systems that whites (And note that is so not racist). I also trust Celia Farber, she has not been there either but she knows Mbeki is not an AIDS Denialist. And David Rasnick knows too...and he did live there. IN fact, now he lives in the Bahamas... I suppose he lives anywhere that the IRS cannot find him.

    I am a skeptic and I believe whatever they say because they are skeptics too.

    So don't go saying that I have to have been to South Africa to know about South Africa."

    Michael, I think that captures what you would say, feel free to correct me.

  26. Hi Simba -- may I respond on behalf of Michael?

    You, Sir, might be the dumbest member yet of this confederacy of dunces.

    Have a nice day!


    p.s. Yes, Africans are sick. They have been sick for decades --war, famine, malnoutrition, malaria, tuberculosis, poor sanitation, poor infrastructure. It ain't the Gallo virus, doofus.

  27. Bill,

    You seem to know as much about South Africa as Mr. Geiger.

    So tell me, when were you there last?
    Are you aware of the crimes against humanity inflicted by the leaders you blindly follow?

    I have seen that your HIV status is discussed on some of these threads.

    If you want to ignore your HIV infection and let your health go down the toilet, so be it.
    Why do you feel compelled to drag others down with you??

  28. Bill, would you have any idea how to identify a new health threat in Africa?

    In South Africa in 1990 the average life expectancy was 62 years. In 2007 it had fallen to 50.

    This was despite democracy and majority rule, solid economic performance, relative political stability, and the beginnings of substantial change to counter absolute poverty, improve the equity of service delivery and the racially-based inequalities of the previous apartheid regime.

    Yes, they still have a long way to go, but you tell me - why do you think life expectancy in South Africa fallen so much?

    There's a hint in the first sentence of this report:

  29. WOW, Bill! Nice literary reference to "Confederacy of Dunces". However, if you actually read the tome, you would know the way you used the reference, that you are most probably more akin to Ignatius J. Reilly than you care to admit. Thanks for the visual.

  30. Hey Simba!

    So tell me, when were you there last?

    I visited South Africa about 3 years ago. Great country.

    Are you aware of the crimes against humanity inflicted by the leaders you blindly follow?

    Perhaps you are ignorant, Sir. The heroic Nelson Mandela was the first black prime minister of South Africa, and the leader of the ANC.

    His right-hand man, was Thabo Mbeki, leader of the country, leader of the ANC, notorious "denialist".

    His successor is Jacob Zuma, a fairly erratic nut-job, who also doesn't buy this AIDS jive.

    The only crimes against humanity are those perpetuated by virus hunters who make up viral diseases, while ignoring the plight of poor, ill-poverished blacks in Africa.

    I have seen that your HIV status is discussed on some of these threads.

    Your eyes must have deceived you. My HIV status is irrelevant and private and has not been discussedon these threads.

    If you want to ignore your HIV infection and let your health go down the toilet, so be it.

    My health is excellent! Could stand to lose a few pounds, but not nearly as tubby as our honorable host, Seth. Thanks for asking, though.

    Why do you feel compelled to drag others down with you??

    Au contrair. Just trying to help people cope with bogus "HIV" diagnosis and the terrible stigma that you AIDS quacks have inflicted on others.

    I say proper nutrition, stay away from poppers, stay away from multiple sexual partners, keep socially connected, and you'll do fine.

    Peace out!

  31. Hi Todd,

    Well, despite the fact that you are an irritating goof, I am impressed that you do read such fine books of literature. Do have a Merry Christmas.

    In good health,


  32. Bill, you are so right.

    I reckon if South Africans stopped snorting so many poppers their average life expectancy would get back to normal overnight.

  33. Bill
    I only posted your last comment because it is the season of giving.
    Be respectful to the sane people here or I will put you on a 1 post for every 3 comment schedule.
    Try to hold it together...

  34. No worries, Seth. An "irritating goof" from Bill is like mana from heaven.
    Also Bill, the book I just finished reading is a biography of Molly Ivins. She was a real journalist. Perhaps you should give "Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life" to Celia Farber so she can see how it's done.

  35. JTD
    What do you mean?
    Are you saying Molly Ivins did not sleep with the publisher of major newspapers to get her articles in print?
    So she was not a Big Media Whore?

  36. Bill,
    "Your eyes must have deceived you. My HIV status is irrelevant and private and has not been discussedon these threads."

    That is not entirely true. You did discuss your CD4 counts here.

    Don't put too much effort into Bill. Despite acting as though he were an expert on the subject of HIV he has yet to learn the difference between RNA and DNA as he has made it abundantly clear in his previous posts.

    Merry Christmas/Holidays sane people and lunatics alike!

  37. Poodlestomper, great catch on Bill's labs!!
    Why oh why do these denialists lie and lie and lie? They just get caught and look like total, well, er, liars! Liars have no credibility despite their beliefs and opinions. No one will listen to you when they know you are a liar.
    Well, Bill, now we know!

  38. I just wonder why beetroot and garlic were ridiculed but fermented papaya extract seems ok...

  39. It's obvious to me.
    Montagnier is a Big Papaya Slut.

  40. "I just wonder why beetroot and garlic were ridiculed but fermented papaya extract seems ok..."

    While I wouldn't put any stock in this unless there were a whole lot of reproduced evidence to back it up, I would say that there are 2 major difference.

    First is that Montagnier admits that this hasn't gone through any well conducted clinical trials to prove its efficacy (he specifically says that it will remain a nutritional supplement until "well-conducted clinical trials show that it is an effective adjunct to serious therapies" and second, in other interviews (I can link to it if you want but I will have to go look for it) Montagnier flat out states that without ARVs, his extract does not help.

    So there is a difference between saying that it hasn't been proven effective and that ARVs are still needed for effective treatment and saying that ARVs are not needed and one should simply munch on beets.

  41. Hi Seth,

    I personally hold no view on the HIV/AIDS orthodoxy or on the dissenting views regarding the matter, and elect to take the precaution that HIV does cause AIDS and prevention is the most formidable tool against the scourge of AIDS. If HIV is later proved not to cause AIDS, preventative measures (such as safe sex, etc) will still be of relevance (against other STIs, etc); and if HIV is in fact the cause of AIDS then prevention would have served, correctly, it purpose. I however take issue at your misrepresentation of the late Manto Tshabalala’s views and policy on HIV and AIDS as well as the views and policy of President (former) Mbeki’s views. It is clear to me as a South African and a Xhosa (Thembu, for your information) that you have relied on media reporting and/or the opinions of HIV/AIDS activists (such as the TAC) on your information about Manto’s and Mbeki’s response to HIV and AIDS, hence you can gratuitously refer to their policies as denialist without a shred of evidence.

    Mbeki was the first politician in SA to champion the eradication of HIV and AIDS, even when he was deputy President of the Republic. In fact, the convention of the deputy President being head of HIV/AIDS initiatives was established by him. Government policy was from the 1990’s premised on HIV being the cause of AIDS and prevention thereof being the first to in response, secondly, ensuring that adequate nutritional and other health supporting facilities be provided in order to help strengthen the immune systems of those infected with HIV, thirdly, that opportunistic diseases that are prevalent due to poverty, be effectively treated and the conditions that ensure their prevalence be eradicated, and fourthly that ARVs be availed in a sustainable manner. In the foregoing regard, I would suggest you peruse government’s policy from at least pre-2000, the comprehensive strategy on HIV and AIDS (2000 – 2005) and the current revised comprehensive Strategy (2006), all of which followed an “orthodox” approach to dealing with HIV and AIDS. The controversy arose solely because of media and “orthodox” obfuscation of government’s engagement of ALL stakeholders within the HIV and AIDS debate, including the “denialists” and/or “dissidents”. Those who share your “orthodox” views were firmly (and are still firmly) opposed to an airing of the views of these “denialists”. Accordingly, I state without any fear of contradiction that any review by yourself or any other individual of government’s, Mbeki’s and/or Manto’s policies on HIV and AIDS will reveal it to be wholly orthodox (circa 2010). In fact, it deviates from the then (circa 2000) orthodoxy of defining a good HIV/AIDS response by primarily the availability of ARVs, in that it also emphasizes inter alia: (1) prevention, (2) eradication of poverty and diseases of poverty, (3) good nutrition and nutritional supplements, (4) controlled and sustainable roll-out of ARVs. In fact, the present administration’s (much lauded) policy on HIV/AIDS is the VERY POLICY developed by the late Manto under Mbeki’s administration. I further state, without any fear of contradiction, that your views regarding Manto are largely falsehoods and are, likely, the product of a reliance on media reporting and not a single shred of actually policy statement from the late Manto.


  42. The references to the Harvard Study (Pride Chigwedere, et alle) and the attribution of 300000 deaths to Manto and/or Mbeki is, with respect, purely a political ploy to justify the unrestrained roll-out of ARVs (Nevirapine in this case). As a black South African, I have seen many of my friends and family die as a result of bodily degeneration resulting from AIDS. I have similarly seen many of my people who were perfectly healthy, albeit HIV positive, and upon the threshold CD4 count of 200, commenced ARVs and die within a year (after living under tortuous circumstances) as a result of ARV caused IRS. I know as a fact that public-health problems are arising daily as a consequence of drug resistance, the channeling of resources to ARVs and consequent impact on the health care system in general, the problems arising from the lack of infrastructure (clinics, counselors, etc) for effective use of ARVs and the consequent negative impact on my society. These are issues that were raised by government as early as 2000 when all the pro-drug groups were lobbying fro unrestrained roll-out of “life saving drugs”. In fact the government of Mbeki never prevented the roll-out of ARVs, and it sought only to have a more controlled roll-out of ARVs, in view of the (infrastructural, toxicity, cost, etc) concerns that some (even many “orthodox”) scientists had raised (Refer to the TAC v Dept of Health and others case CC). Using the logic of Pride Chigwedere et alle, does the fact that Mbeki’s and Manto’s concerns about an unbridled roll-out of ARVs, and the risks associated therewith (including the impact on the fiscus and economy as a whole) are now proving in many ways correct, mean that all those condemned them as denialists (without any basis whatsoever) are responsible for the death of the victims of ARVs (the so-called Immune Reconstitution Syndrome)? It is extraordinary, for example, that the number of deaths from IRS are unknown and/or that, in many instances, are defined as ordinary AIDS caused by HIV and therefore not worth any further study, particularly since there is no risk of litigation because the vast majority of the dying are poor and black! It’s even more extraordinary that these issues are not discussed because anyone who raises these issues is likely to be called a denialist and hence lose their ability to earn an income, this in an age when the open contestation of ideas is ideas is supposed to be a sacred virtue.


  43. Bravo Nokwindla! I love your post. AIDS establishment doesn't give a shit about malnourished, poor, disease riddled black south african and never will...EVER!

  44. How many blacks were killed by whites during the Apartheid era vs. the number of blacks killed by other blacks in South Africa by AIDS denialism?