SOUTH AFRICA: Newsday Calls Mbeki’s Silence ‘Progress’
A Newsday editorial expresses "profound relief" that South African President Thabo Mbeki has "at last" agreed to "shut up about his own ideas on the scientific causes and sociological aspects of AIDS." At the 13th International Conference on AIDS, Mbeki gave the impression that he thought poverty, not HIV, causes AIDS, the editorial notes, but when the "medical mainstream inevitably howled in protest" of his remarks, Mbeki said that he only wanted to foster discussion on the issue. The editorial states that Mbeki's "skepticism" toward the medical establishment only served to "confuse people who desperately" need accurate knowledge on HIV/AIDS. The editorial alleges that if people believe poverty and not HIV causes AIDS, "they are hardly likely to practice safe sex." While Mbeki's assistants once dismissed criticism of his ideas as "foreign snobbery," the editorial states that Mbeki "got the message" and agreed to keep his own opinions in chThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.