MOVE TO REINVESTIGATE HIV LINK
WITH AIDS SHOCKS DOCTORS
The Star (SA) 1 March 2000
Cape Town -- The possibility that an international panel of experts
convened by the Ministry of Health may reappraise scientific evidence that HIV
causes AIDS was outrageous and laughable, doctors said yesterday.
"This is the most retrograde step anybody could make," said Dr. Ashraf
Grimwood, chairperson of the non-governmental National Council on AIDS
in South Africa.
Outspoken public health doctor Costa Gazi said: "I'm outraged to see another
lousy initiative on the part of the Ministry of Health that will lead nowhere."
They were reacting to a statement by Dr. Ian Roberts, a special advisor
to Health Minister Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msjmang, that the department was
looking into the feasibility of getting a panel of international experts to look
into AIDS in Africa.
The new panel would "surely" reappraise the scientific evidence that
HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, caused AIDS, he said.
Among so-called AIDS dissidents, one of the most outspoken has been
Professor Peter Duesberg of the University of California, who maintains that
AIDS is not a contagious syndrome caused by one conventional virus or
Grimwood said Duesberg's theories had been totally discredited, and no
one believed him anymore.
"HIV exists, we can show it exists, kids die of it," he said.
An associate professor at the University of Cape Town's department of
pubic health, Dr. Leslie London, said that if Roberts had been reported
correctly, the project was astonishing.
"It's a travesty that the public money will be spent reinvestigating that issue." - Sapa