Thabo Mbeki's AIDS policies
December 1, 2002 4:35 AM   Subscribe

"35,000". The South African president Thabo Mbeki is failing to deal with his nation's unbelievable AIDS epidemic. Here are the opinions of his chief advisor on the disease. For balance, here is the opinion of the UK government. Do you agree with me that Mbeki is a dangerous man, and is a terrible choice to follow his predecessor?
posted by Pretty_Generic (6 comments total)
More from Rasnick.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:42 AM on December 1, 2002

When he started allowing AIDS 'dissenters' onto panels and getting his research from the internet Mbeki got a verbal lashing from the scientific community in SA and was raked over the coals in public quite a bit by the press (especially the black press).

After that and the successes made by the Treatment Action Campaign in it's lawsuits against the government, they have changed their stance but many would argue not enough.
posted by PenDevil at 5:38 AM on December 1, 2002

Great Seattle Times story about AIDS in Africa here

LISTEN TO RUTH'S MOTHER CRY, and you'll never think of the number 2.3 million in the same distant way.
That's how many people died of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa last year. It's also the population of King and Snohomish counties. Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Everett — every soul from Federal Way to Stanwood, Vashon Island to Snoqualmie Pass.
Two million three hundred thousand. A number too big to get your arms around, an amount easier to calculate than to comprehend.

posted by matteo at 7:14 AM on December 1, 2002

A seldom reported factoid of monumental significance is that a member of Mbeki's cabinet died of AIDS a year or two ago. The entire incident was kept under cover and the official cause of death has been obfuscated by the Mbeki administration, who could have kept the man alive if medication was available and acceptable. Forget cutting off your nose to spite your face - this is like killing a friend to spite your idealogical enemy.
posted by subpixel at 8:32 AM on December 1, 2002

Hmmm. The only South African government minister I can find to have died since Mbeki took office is Safety and Security Minister Steve Tshwete, who fell suddenly ill last spring, and later died of post-operative pneumonia. One supposes it is possible that this was an AIDS-related pneumonia, but I don't see anything to support any of the other contentions here: that the incident was covered up, that medications were withheld, and most especially that medications would have saved him. No doubt Mbeki's positions are ignorant and repugnant, but the idea that these led to the death of a friend is purely speculative. Despite those positions, AIDS is recognized and treated in South African hospitals every day.
posted by dhartung at 11:14 AM on December 1, 2002

dhartung: It wasn't a minister it was Mbeki's presidential spokesman Parks Mankahlana. He had all the AIDS like symptoms and died of what those in the inner political circles thought was an AIDS related illness.

The government had this to say about the cause of his death : ""The question of his illness is something that the family should deal with, and we respect that."

Lovely sidestep there...
posted by PenDevil at 1:24 PM on December 1, 2002

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