Resist this medical obscurantism
By LEADING ARTICLE - THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Tue, 03 May 2011 06:00:24 UTC
An anti-scientific approach to the treatment of HIV has long been a scourge in Africa. The questioning of the link between AIDS and HIV by the former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, did huge damage to the public information campaign designed to bring down that country's appalling infection rate. The advocacy by the former South African health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, of "natural" treatments for the virus (ranging from beetroot to wild garlic) was similarly damaging. According to a study by Harvard University, their combined resistance to the scientific consensus on HIV and their failure to push the distribution of anti-retroviral drugs might have resulted in the needless deaths of some 300,000 people.
Given that history, it is disturbing to learn, thanks to an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, that British charities are funding an African organisation that is pushing an equally unscientific approach to treatment of HIV: homeopathy. The Abha Light Foundation in Kenya is suggesting to its HIV positive patients that homeopathic medicines – which are regarded as placebos by the British Medical Association – are a suitable alternative to anti-retroviral drugs.
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According to this article, science is out to doom us all.