More lives were lost due to the pervasiveness of AIDS denialism
at that time.
Discussion includes challenges related to sustaining funding of treatment and care, the use of law and diplomacy to address HIV, the impact of stigma, intellectual property law for future treatments, medical male circumcision as a prevention strategy, global data collection, US international policies on promoting prevention and research with men who have sex with men, criminalization and bias against sex workers, the role of social movements, treatment advocacy, prevention activism, community engagement, citizen scientists and activists researchers, and AIDS denialism
There are a host of conspiracy theories evolving around AIDS and HIV: this book identifies four symbolically powerful figures involved in AIDS denialism
, and offers an intriguing survey of how pro-science advocates have fought back by using research and political credibility to resist false AIDS myths.
Mortal Combat: AIDS Denialism
and the Struggle for Antiretrovirals in South Africa.
Under the South African presidency of Thabo Mbeki, AIDS denialism
(the view that HIV is not the cause of AIDS) led to delayed implementation of ART and resulted in thousands of deaths.
The TAC, for many years the Mbeki government's greatest opponent on AIDS policy implementation, in the same month published a press release welcoming 'the death of AIDS denialism
' (Treatment Action Campaign 2009).
(1) The notion mainstream is of course problematic on field so full of controversies, for example around AIDS denialism
. Fassin (2007) and Robins (2004) have analyzed differences between the AIDS dissident views and dissident policy discourses in contrast to the TAC politics.
The AIDS denialism
of a few nutty activists in San Francisco is one thing.
The opening chapters introduce the roots of AIDS denialism
by tracing its links to three major sources: the normalization of democratic discourse--i.e., South Africa's transition from a pariah state to open-minded participant in global debates over equitable development and public health; Mheki's keen interest in "AIDS dissidents" like Dr.
She had established a reputation as a pro-active leader on the HIV/AIDS crisis, one fully at ease with orthodox scientific thinking on the pandemic - unlike Mbeki himself who is immersed in AIDS denialism
. She was gradually seeking to redefine the government's position in the absence, due to ill health, of the Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang - the 'Dr Beetroot' of South African press fame (so called due to her prioritising of beetroot and garlic as natural remedies for HIV/AIDS over anti-retroviral drugs).
For instance, Epstein confers that AIDS denialism
in South Africa is in part a defensive strategy against centuries of racist stereotypes about Africa and African sexual practices.