Mbeki’s Advisory Panel to Release Findings on AIDS in Early 2001
The South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel final report is complete and will be released in January 2001, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com reports. The panel, assembled at President Thabo Mbeki's request, is composed of 33 scientists from 14 countries, split between "mainstream scientists and dissidents" who argue that poverty is at the "root" of AIDS. Mbeki, who was criticized for including the dissidents on the panel, called the meetings in May and July to "help government become as broadly informed as possible about the true nature of AIDS in Africa and what to do about it." Evidence for and against the following four theories were presented to the panel: "AIDS is a contagious disease, AIDS is sexually transmitted, HIV causes AIDS and anti-HIV drugs prolong the lives of HIV positive people or at least improve the quality of their lives." The panel's findings were "much as expected" as no consensus was formed (Harvey, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com, 12/18).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.