New York Times Examines Lewis’ Criticism of South African HIV/AIDS Treatment Policies in New Book
The New York Times on Tuesday examined U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis' new book, titled "Race Against Time," and its criticism of South Africa's HIV/AIDS treatment policies (LaFraniere, New York Times, 10/25). Lewis is traveling throughout Canada, delivering a series of speeches about his work in Africa and 20 years of experience with the United Nations and other international agencies that will be broadcast next month as part of CBC Radio's Massey Lectures (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/24). In the book -- which is a compilation of the lectures he has delivered over the past year -- Lewis criticizes the South African government for "bewildering policies and a lackadaisical approach to treatment of the nation's millions of HIV-positive citizens," according to the Times. In the last chapter of the book, Lewis commends South Africa for devoting a sufficient amount of its budget to HIV/AIDS issues and for its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the Times. "But on treatment, it is lagging unconscionably," Lewis writes. "Such public criticism is highly unusual for an official of Mr. Lewis' rank," the Times reports. Sibani Mngadi, a spokesperson for South Africa's Ministry of Health, said Lewis is a "biased and uninformed judge" of the country's response to the epidemic, according to the Times. "No other country has increased treatment at the pace at which we are implementing our program," Mngadi said, adding, "Soon we are going to have the highest number of people on treatment of anywhere" (New York Times, 10/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.