Mbeki questions validity of HIV testing

South African President Thabo Mbeki yesterday questioned the need for people to take HIV tests, saying there was disagreement among scientists about what exactly was being tested.

Mbeki stirred international controversy last year when he publicly supported the view of some scientists who question the link between HIV and AIDS and believe HIV testing should cease. Mbeki reignited the debate Tuesday in a rare live broadcast on the private television station e-TV, saying he would not take a public HIV test as it would send a message that he supported a particular scientific viewpoint. “I go and do a test I am confirming a particular paradigm,” he said. Mbeki also denounced pleas for his government to provide antiretroviral drugs through the public health system to patients living with HIV/AIDS, saying the drugs were not yet proven to be safe. “I think it would be criminal if our government did not deal with the toxicity of these drugs,” he said. “Let’s stop politicising this question, let’s deal with the science of it.”

Source: Source: CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update

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