Nigerian Faith-Healer Says He Can ‘Cure’ AIDS, Attracting Thousands of Patients
Thousands of HIV-positive Nigerians, hoping "to escape a disease the rest of the world says is incurable," visit faith-healer Temitope Balogun Joshua, who claims he can "cure" HIV/AIDS, but critics dismiss Joshua as a "scam artis[t]," the Associated Press reports. Joshua goes to local churches and "heals" individuals with HIV and other afflictions by touching their heads and saying prayers. He is reported to have performed over 11,000 "miracles" over the past eight years, and many Nigerians who seek his services have heard about him on TV and radio. But critics, "particularly aid workers trying to fight AIDS with scarce resources," have "accuse[d] Joshua of preying on the ignorance of AIDS sufferers." Tim McLellan of the Society for Family Health, said, "Who wouldn't want a cure for HIV? We'd all be in favor of that. But the promotion of these remedies without scientific proof to back them up has been damaging to the overall effort of AIDS prevention in Nigeria." Although international drug firms have recently reduced the prices of antiretroviral drugs in Africa, the treatments "remain inaccessible to all but a wealthy few," leading many Nigerians to seek other sources of remedy (Pitman, Associated Press, 7/2). Joshua's Web site features the testimonies of several Nigerians who say they were cured of HIV/AIDS as a result of his healing and depicts their negative HIV test results next to their former positive ones (The Synagogue, Church of All Nations Web site, 7/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.