Controversial South African AIDS Report Not Yet ‘Public Document’
South Africa's Presidential AIDS Advisory report "is currently not a public document," as government officials are not commenting on its contents, an action that is "speculated as sensitivity" to the waning health of young AIDS activist Nkosi Johnson, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com reports. The report, compiled "amidst controversy" by the Presidential Advisory Panel on AIDS, a group created last year after President Thabo Mbeki "was led to questio[n] the HIV/AIDS link when consulting the Internet," was completed Tuesday and received by Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Thursday. The government has "repeatedly denied" doubting the link between HIV and AIDS, but has "lent a willing ear" to "dissident" theorists who question the validity of HIV tests and "urge" the government to "closely" examine "cofactors in the pandemic" (Harvey, WOZA Internet/allAfrica.com, 1/19). The panel was composed of a near equal representation of "orthodox" scientists and dissenters, Johannesburg-based Business Day reports. The report experienced "unexplained delays" and an early draft "leaned heavily towards the orthodox AIDS scientists," according to several who saw it in August (Sidley, Business Day, 1/19).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.