Sixteen years ago, two colleagues and I wrote a letter to Nature expressing our concern about our then-President Thabo Mbeki’s denialist views on HIV and AIDS – views he then tried to push into national policy, and which almost certainly were highly influential in delaying the rollout of ARVs in South Africa. I was also active for several years in the media and in public lectures in trying to negate some of the damage he was causing – and I was very relieved when he took a back seat eventually, and then effectively vanished from the public stage.
However, in an unwelcome development as of this week, it appears that Mr Mbeki has finally, in his ongoing quest to rewrite history, addressed the elephant in the room: his views on HIV/AIDS.
To say this “letter” is self-serving would be to pay it a compliment. Indeed, he himself has this to…
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