Battle over anti-AIDS drugs flares

Swaziland / World Mission

Battle over anti-AIDS drugs flares in South Africa:

“A new row in South Africa is pitting the influential The Treatment Action Campaign , which resorted to legal action to force the government to roll out ARVs nearly two years ago, returned to court on Friday to try to win an order against German-born Matthias Rath, who claims that vitamins can reverse the course of AIDS.

“We are asking the court to grant us a temporary interdict which will stop Doctor Rath from making defamatory comments about us,” said TAC spokesman Nathan Geffen.

Rath, who heads his own Rath Foundation, has accused the TAC of being a front for drug companies that he claims are waging an “AIDS genocide” through the sale of ARVs.”

When we visited a hospital in Swaziland and spoke with one of the physicians there, he talked about the effectiveness of ARV (antiretrovirias) therapy. In addition to the concerns commonly raised here in the west that there are problems in getting the medicine to patients and ensuring that patients keep to the strict medication regime, there is some evidence that the drugs help patients, but not to the degree they seem to be working here in the States.

Perhaps this is why the leadership of NERCHA was so clear that what really needed to happen was a sea-change in the culture. Societal institutions like the Church need to make it clear that sex is not something to by “played around with” and that there are deadly consequences to risky behavior. Much of the success that people have reported in Uganda’s ABC programs have had their basis in fostering such a change.

(Via South Africa.)

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