August 11th 2007
The High Commissioner
The Republic of South Africa
South Africa House
Re: AIDS in South Africa: INDEPENDENT, 11th August.
The reports by the Foreign Editor, Health Editor and the accompanying editorial comment in four pages of "The Independent" dealing with various aspects of this serious problem are inaccurate and misleading. The dismissal of a subordinate Minister is used as a reason for attributing the ravages of diseases registrable as AIDS to the policies of President Mbeki and his Health Minister. There is no doubt that these diseases, registrable under any one of 27 or more headings in the official WHO classification, are prevalent throughout sub-Saharan. But so are tuberculosis, malaria, schistosomiasis, hepatitis and, especially, diarrhoeal diseases which, along with all ten traditional sexually-transmissible infections, contribute hugely to official and non-official registrations of AIDS in shanty townships like Soweto and tribal areas. Official diagnosis depends upon surrogate tests for HIV but these also overlap so frequently with other infections, including leprosy, that the expert Harvard team abandoned them for field surveys, estimates of prevalence and projections in the sub-Sahara
Because of these and other uncertainties, President Mbeki instructed the Ministry of Health to invite a panel of about thirty experts from North and South America, Europe and Australasia to meet with local experts for an open exchange of views in 1999 and 2000, I was one of two from the UK, and I have to say that the discussions, chaired by a distinguished judge from Canada, were more open and less unfettered than any that I have ever attended elsewhere, not least because prominent representatives of the orthodox HIV hypothesis like Professor Luc Montagnier and doctors from the US Centers for Disease Control were able to debate fundamental doubts expressed by Professor Peter Duesberg and others like myself who had independently raised questions for other reasons. Members of the Panel were also free to visit hospital, clinics, laboratories, Soweto and other unsettled, as well as settled localities. These visits were facilitated impartially by local staff, including he President’s chief medical advisor, Professor Sam Mhlongo, a distinguished Zulu who qualified in medicine at the University of London and worked there until the end of Apartheid when he was invited to return to South Africa to head a new department of Family Medicine at MEDUNSA. He continued to assist the Panel until his death in a road accident last year.
News Media and medical journals in the USA and UK have repeatedly denounced President Mbeki for daring, in his own country, to question the certainties based on EURO-American experience of HIV/AIDS, one of which is that they have no cure, no vaccine and no regime better than the ABC of. traditional African wisdom on how to identify and avoid risk behaviours conducive to AIDS and, indeed, to all sexually-transmissible and many other diseases of unaware and deprived communities. Respect for this, for the rights of women and for strategic therapy to control the overloads of other infections which are certainly ravaging the sub-Sahara, are cardinal features of the policies of the President and present Minister of Health, and are no longer denied by authorities like Dr Piot of UN AIDS or Dr Fauci, Head of the US NIH and should be seen in the context of grotesque “Titanic” and deliberate deceptions and exaggerated projection by UNAIDS. These deliberate deceptions are now disclosed in a book on the AIDS Pandemic, by Professor James Chin of Berkeley, CA, former Director of Epidemiology of AIDS for WHO. I am sending this information to you for transmission to President Mbeki and the Minister of Health.
Gordon T. Stewart, MD, FPH/RCP,
Emeritus Professor of Public Health, University of Glasgow,
Member of the Presidential Panel on AIDS in Sourh Africa.