Cameroonian official claims AIDS vaccine

Professor Victor Ngu says that he discussed his vaccine twice with former president Thabo Mbeki, who was ‘€œvery keen to work on it’€.

Mbeki then facilitated meetings with ex-health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Professor Tony Mbewu of the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Ngu, who was in South Africa recently to receive an honorary award, said that he started his treatment in 1988 while still in government.

He claims that his ‘€œvaccine’€ can penetrate the envelope of the HI virus and destroy it. However, most vaccines are preventive, and are given to people before they get sick.

‘€œThe making of this is a trade secret,’€ Ngu told Health-e. However, he revealed that the process involved extracting a syringe of blood from an HIV positive person, ‘€œcleaning’€ the blood, then putting it back into the person.

‘€œWe take the virus and make the vaccine from that and destroy the envelope of the virus in a test tube and then put the blood back,’€ said Ngu, speaking from a beachfront hotel in Durban.

‘€œWe draw the blood, treat the blood and put the blood back again. We make each vaccine unique to each patient,’€ said Ngu, adding that the only equipment he needed was a test tube, UV light and a special ‘€œwash’€.

However, when asked whether it would be possible to interview one of his patients, Ngu said they had all scattered and were not prepared to be interviewed ‘€œbecause of the stigma of HIV’€.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Pro Vice- Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who accompanied Health-e to interview Ngu, said his claims were ‘€œmedically impossible’€.

‘€œYou take the whole virus from somebody’€¦you treat it in a way in which you produce a sub-unit, that sub-unit you claim to be the core without the envelope. Then you then inject that core back into somebody ‘€“ and you claim that that core then creates antibodies that can clear the virus,’€ Abdool Karim asked Ngu.

Ngu agreed that this was what happened, but Abdool Karim said this ‘€œsounds like a sham’€ as it was not possible to separate the envelope from the core.

However, Ngu has a huge following in Cameroon and has international recognition as a surgeon.

‘€œI am not a witch doctor. I went to the best medical schools in England,’€ Ngu said.

Most scientific advances only receive international recognition once they have been published in a recognized scientific journal that follows a system of ‘€œpeer review’€, where other scientists examine and evaluate the research before it is accepted for publication.

Ngu said he had published his research in Cameroon’€™s Academy of Sciences Journal, but Abdool Karim said the ‘€œvaccine’€ would have to be ‘€œsubjected to independent scientific evaluation’€.

‘€œI think Professor Ngu is well intentioned. He started his research years ago when there was nothing for people with HIV. But we need to ensure that there are strong policies in our country so that this kind of thing can never happen in this country,’€ said Abdool Karim.


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