Aids: Judgement Day On The 13th
From New African
Pusch Commey, reports from Durban, on the good, the bad and the shananagians at the recent 13th International Aids Conference held in that city.
Something is killing Africa and the world. What it is, nobody is sure. But for now the medical establishment believes it is HIV.
Based on this premise, 12,400 delegates and over 1,500 journalists congregated at the Durban International Convention Centre for the 13th International Aids conference (9-14 July) to debate and compare notes on the most insidious scourge in modern times. These were bad times to be a youth. But all was not solidarity.
The run up to the conference itself was characterised by an unrelenting media assault on the person of President Thabo Mbeki. He was variously described as irresponsible, grossly negligent and genocidal. Most thought he had lost his marbles. Columnists suggested that it is perhaps his final solution to the high incidence of poverty and unemployment.
His mortal sin was to have exercised his right to the freedom of expression and enquiry that all Western constitutions hold so dear. He had dared question the unquestionable: the inconclusive theory that Aids is solely caused by a virus called HIV.
He had dared to threaten the very foundation upon which is built a huge Aids edifice that feeds on the virus. Pharmaceutical companies, Aids researchers, the medical establishment, microbiologists, NGOs, entrepreneurs, you name it. And which replicates as fast as the virus itself as sufficient panic is created to force governments and institutions to fork out more and more cash.