Controversial AIDS scientist prompts outcry

Protest planned over South African government's hiring of AIDS dissident.

Jacqui Wise(patjacq@mweb.co.za)
Mar 12, 2003

CAPE TOWN — A campaign of civil disobedience is to take place in South Africa next week to protest against the government's hiring of Roberto Giraldo — a controversial scientist who denies that HIV causes AIDS.

Although health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, insisted that Giraldo will not be a ministerial advisor but is simply giving advice on nutrition and HIV/AIDS, the appointment brought howls of protest from AIDS advocates and politicians.

Nonkosi Khumalo, spokeswoman for the advocacy group Treatment Action Campaign, told The Scientist, "Appointing a denialist shows that the health minister still does not believe that HIV causes AIDS. There should be a vote of no confidence in the health minister. She is a disappointment as a doctor."

Giraldo believes that antiretroviral drugs cause, rather than slow, the progression to AIDS. On his website he says: "There are many scientific facts indicating that … HIV is not...

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