The price of denial
In June 1999 Thabo Mbeki became president. And so began one of the most destructive episodes in our recent history ‘ AIDS denialism. Mbeki questioned the very existence of a sexually-transmitted virus that caused AIDS.
MBEKI IN PARLIAMENT, 20 Sept 2000: You see if you ask the question does HIV cause AIDS’¦ the question is, does a virus cause a syndrome? How does a virus cause a syndrome? It can’t.
He undermined antiretroviral medication… calling it toxic. Yet ARVs are the only drugs scientifically proven to suppress HIV and save lives.
This story counts the cost – in lives – of ten years of denialism and delays in treating desperate people…
There were over three hundred thousand preventable AIDS deaths during the Mbeki era. We ask: Is there ANYTHING that can make up for this shocking fact?