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Aids Denial In South Africa
Rhianna Leanon 10 June 2014
Transcript of Aids Denial In South Africa
Rhianna, Ashleigh, Lili
What was the Conflict About
What is HIV/AIDS?
Thabo Mbeki and his Statement....
He believed that the HIV could not be cured by Western Methods, but by eliminating poverty in South Africa.
President Mbeki's Health minister (Manto...) was an advocate for good nutrition repressing the the virus
In 2008, Mbeki was asked to step down from being president and Jacob Zuma stepped up.
Jacob Zuma signified the end of state-endoresed denial for many.
Mark Heywood (Advocate) -Reaction:
Set up the TAC (Treatment Action Campaign)
"We had to fight our Government, we didn't expect that when we formed the TAC we would have a very hard conflict with the South African Government."
Scientists felt that they could not do anyting to help people while Mbeki was in Government.
"As Long as Mr Mbeki is being advised by people with no credibility, we as South African Scientists feel dangerously marginalized in the search for solutions to HIV/AIDS.
Impacts on Stakeholders:
Approximately 330,000 Deaths (which is 90,000 more people than the population of the Sutherland Shire!!!)
35,000 babies born with HIV that could have been protected
Under international pressure, South Africa launched a national programs for the prevention of Mother-to-child transmissions in August, 2003, and a national adult treatment programs in 2004.
It was said that even though these programs were set up in 2005, there was only 23% drug coverage and 30% prevention of mother-to-child transmissions
What is AIDS Denialism?
c) That AIDS are caused by under nutrition, lack of clean water and Poverty
a) HIV does not cause the development of AIDS
b) That anti-retroviral drugs are poisonous, ineffective and promoted by a profit driven pharmaceutical industry and ..
Profile of Thabo Mbeki
Born 18th June, 1942
1956, he joined the ANC Youth League
1959, he led a student strike at Lovedale that resulted in his expulsion.
Remained in the ANC even after it was banned in 1960
1962, he left South Africa illegaly and enrolled at the University of Sussex, England
In the late 1960s, he began moving up the ANC hierarchy.
Worked for the ANC in London (1967-1970)
Militarily trained in the Soviet Union (1971)
1970s Mbeki undertook missions for the ANC in Botswana, Swaziland and Nigeria
In 1990, the ban against the ANC was lifted, and Mbeki returned to South Africa.
In 1994, Mbeki was appointed South Africa's deputy President by President Mandela
Became head of the ANC in 1997
Became president of South Africa in 1999 (after Mandela)
Focused on the continuing transition from an apartheid state, halting the soaring crime rate, and combating the spread of AIDS in Africa
2004 elections the ANC won nearly 70% of the votes, and Mbeki was elected to a second term as president of the country
In 2007, he lost to Jacob Zuma.
49.32 million (July 2009 est)
Population living below the poverty line:
Male 87%, Female 85.7%
Male 53.5 years, Female 57.2 years
HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate:
Infant Mortality Rate:
47.7/1000 live Births
Expensive Anti-retroviral (ARVs) came down in price dramatically as a result of antivists' campaigning and public pressure
By 2005, there was still only 23% drug coverage and less than 30% prevention of mother-to-child transmission
By comparison, Botswana achieved 85% treatment coverage and had 70% coverage with mother-to-child transmissions programs
Until the U.S. government perceived the African AIDS epidemic as a threat to U.S. interests, the response to the crisis was limited.
Anti-Retrovirals and Therapy
AIDS was a death sentence even in the developed world until the ntroduction of ARV therapy 1996.
The Drugs were extremely expensive, and available to only a small percentage of the HIV infected population in the developed world
Generic versions of these drugs could eventually be produced in middle-income countries such as Brazil and India
In 1998, It was announced that a trial using a short course of AZT in Thailand had cut the mother-to-child transmission rate to half.
Its use was rejected in all ANC run provinces on cost grounds despite the manufacturer cutting the price
A community of Scientists spoke out against denialism, and were supported by politicians, but the pressure they exerted was not sufficient to force the government o adopt a new stance.
South Africa Goes to Court
Health and Sanitation issues related to poverty are conditions that do increase the spread of AIDS and inhibit successful treatment
In 1997, South Africa proposed ammendments to Medicines and Related Substances Control Act which would allow for generic production of affordable AIDS Drugs
In response 40 pharmaceutical companies took South Africa to Court
This drew the attention of NGOs, which mobilized and galvanized a transnational media campaign.
Voluntary licenses were agreed between local manufacturers and the patent holding companies for the production of ARVs
The Global Fund
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria was created at the urging of the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, in 2001
It has suffered from poor funding,slow distribution, and other political obstacles.
The Domestic Response...
In 1992, the National AIDS Coordination Committee of South Africa was formed
As the country made the transition from Apartheid to democracy, the infection rate began to rapidly increase.
The AIDS Awareness play, Sarafina II, based on a musical screenplay, was widely controversial.
Money could have been better spent on local projects.
"There is a deep sense of loss in the NGO Community which feels it is no longer involved in the struggle to support people with AIDS in South Africa
"A rift between the department of Health,NACCOSA and NGOs, as well as public derision about and hostility HIV/AIDS work and programs"
South Africa's drug regulatory authority, the Medicines Control Council (MCC), refused to allow researchers to continue with trials because they believed Virodine was dangerous.
Despite his many accomplishments in other arenas, President Mandela had failed to provide leadership on HIV/AIDS.
Mbeki's Cure for AIDS
Motivated to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in South Africa and focused on finding an African cure.
When no effective remedy for AIDS was developed on African soil, Mbeki began to question the epideic itself
Claim that HIV does not cause AIDS.
Mbeki led South Africa's decent into the Politics of AIDS denialism, promoting policies that would cost hundreds of thousands of South African lives.
The Struggle against Denial Policies
Mr Specter writes "Understandably hard to view white men in lab coats as people who wanted to help them"
The struggle against denial policies remained bitter and protracted.
Thabo Mbeki became president of South Africa in 1999
He Joined a group called 'Aids Denialists' in 2000
Became heavily influenced by Peter Duesburg (The leader of the group)
In 2000, Mbeki called for a meeting with experts to discuss the scientifically accepted cause of AIDS that he publically rejected.
Made a public announcement at the international Aids conference in Dubai that HIV was not the cause of Aids.
In 1999, Mbeki was under pressure to provide Zidovudine - He announced this drug was toxic and dangerous to health.
He then began to doubt whether HIV was the cause of AIDS, this strengthened his argument of not supporting Zidovudine.