South African DJ’s AIDS-Related Death Shows ‘Desperate Need’ for Increased AIDS Education, ‘The World’ Reports
The AIDS-related death in January of South African "celebrity" deejay Fana Khabzela Khana is an indication of the "desperate need" for more education in the country about HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral medications, according to advocates from the treatment advocacy group Treatment Action Campaign, "The World" -- a coproduction of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- reported on Monday. Although the radio station where Khabzela worked covered all of his medical bills, he inexplicably stopped taking antiretroviral drugs, sought help from traditional healers and herbalists and tried an alternative diet endorsed by "controversial" Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, PRI reports (Schmidt, "The World," PRI, 5/10). Tshabalala-Msimang has said that a combination of garlic, onions, olive oil and African potatoes helps to strengthen the immune systems of people living with HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/29). The advocates say that South Africans "remain confused over how to treat" HIV/AIDS because of the government's "inconsistent stance" on fighting the disease, according to PRI. In addition, they say that the "same fear of the drugs that haunted Khabzela is one reason people have been reluctant to embrace the potentially life saving medicines," PRI reports ("The World," PRI, 5/10). The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.