“JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – White, wealthy and proudly gay, Judge Edwin Cameron is hardly a typical face of the AIDS pandemic ravaging southern Africa.
But Cameron, a member of South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal and the only senior public servant in the country to publicly disclose he has HIV, shares one thing with millions of other Africans fighting the virus: a strong desire to live and a deep anger over halting efforts to fight the disease.
In a new book Cameron dissects Africa’s AIDS crisis, a public health emergency that the United Nations estimates could infect up to 89 million more Africans by 2025.
It is a disaster he blames in part on African ‘AIDS Denialism,’ the prism that some leaders including South African President Thabo Mbeki have used to downplay or dismiss scientific knowledge on AIDS.
His book, ‘Witness to AIDS,’ is an indictment of Western drug firms which he says kept AIDS medicine out of reach of most Africans for far too long and the failure of South Africa’s leaders to face up to the debacle.
‘We have had leaders referring to AIDS in their families, but never in themselves,’ Cameron said in an interview. ‘We still don’t have the heartfelt, unambiguous, insistent quality of leadership on AIDS that one would want.'”
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