Woo-meisters in South Africa struck down!!

While those of us here in the US can have a grand 'ol time loling over wackaloon HIV-Deniers, not everyone on this planet shares that luxury.

There are places on this planet where woo is in control. The person with the political power to give or withhold life saving anti-retrovirals, doesnt believe they work.

She believes in magic.

The health minister in South Africa, where 1 in 5 adults is infected with HIV-1, believes that garlic, beet root, and glittery pixie dust, will 'cure' HIV-1 infections.

Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been allowing (and potentially having a hand in actively covering up) illegal 'clinical trials' on the efficacy of Matthias Raths magic vitamins on treating HIV-1 infections. Matthias Rath and David Rasnick are just run of the mill snake-oil salesmen who have gotten themselves a pretty great gig...


A GREAT laymens organization in South Africa called 'Treatment Action Campaign' has been rallying against these assholes for years. They finally got Rath and Rasnick in trouble for friggen illegally performing clinical trials on poor HIV-1 infected individuals, who incidentally, dont get antiretrovirals from the government because their health minister supports Rath and Rasnick.


Guys, you have no idea how many hoops I have to jump through just to to RT-PCR on some decade old serum samples from Africa. You all have no idea. Ignoring those rules and regulations is one of the dumbest things you can do in Research World.

But heres my main point-- Every time you start getting discouraged about some wackaloon Christian Dominionist speaking at the White House or passing some BS Creationist bill, dont give up your efforts. Treatment Action Campaign is a perfect example of what the collective efforts of laymen can achieve.

More like this

In order to help spread the word about a dangerous altie quack and HIV/AIDS denier who is responsible for probably hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths from AIDS in Africa, I'm reproducing The Doctor Will Sue You Now, here on denialism blog. The chapter, removed from Ben Goldacre's new book…
I just read this on Denialism Blog, and simply had to send it out to all of you, just in case you don't subscribe to that awesome blog. What follows will scare and anger you - at least, that was my reaction. Some people are so self-deluding that they are willing to kill millions of people to…
Orac of Respectful Insolence is on vacation this week, and in the hiatus is posting some "classic" Insolence from the old blog. In his absence, I feel the need to continue the fight against woo (and also, I happened to receive this story via email---Hat tip Darkman). The 35-year-old high school…
The International AIDS conference is barely over, but already it's getting results when it comes to working against stigma and combatting denial--and is receiving help from one U.S. politician. Stories after the fold... First, from Buisness Day comes harsh words for South Africa's leaders:…

Every time you start getting discouraged about some wackaloon Christian Dominionist speaking at the White House or passing some BS Creationist bill, dont give you your efforts.

To hear is to obey. I haz curridge!

Paul, seriously, dude-- Even if its down to you verses a thousand zombies, dont go down without a fight.

dont give you your efforts

Me thinks our ERV needs to proofread every now and then...

Somewhere on the intertubes there's a very good series of articles on Rath, his AIDS treatments and the political manoeuvrings surrounding them (IIRC Ben Goldacre pointed them out once). The bottom line was that he was supported from the top of the SA government for political reasons, and they continued to support him even when everyone else was saying that there was no evidence etc. etc.

(Off topic, crossposted from PZ's place)
Over at my blog I've got a discussion kicking off in the comments section of one of my posts (here)with a guy who says he will provide rational proofs of the christian God - he chimes in at comment 2 and we get to the meat by comment 7 and 8. I think his arguments are rather silly, and I've written a fairly extensive reply, but my knowledge of philosophy is strictly amateur. If anyone wants to come on over and tell him/me where we're going wrong, that would be appreciated.

This appeal for help/naked blogwhoring is over - we now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Garlic, beet root and glittery pixie dust will never work, the pixie dust is just too difficult to obtain.

Not to mention the inhumane practices involved in obtaining pixie dust.

ERV jumping hoops?

*What are you teaching Arnie???*

His Master's Voice will never sound the same again. (Or maybe that is why he is constantly LOLing...)

By Torbj�rn Lar… (not verified) on 01 Jul 2008 #permalink

Slightly OT, today I saw an article about how with early and proper treatment AIDS patients' survival rates are becoming so good they are starting to live as long as the general population.


Should that be "infey"?

<shakes head>

you just know what a ruckus the alties would make if this were 'Big Pharma' doing uncontrolled human trials like this. But Big Quacka? Noooooo problem! One suspects that they already know that their 'cure' can do nothing. Sadly, the illness can in this case. It's not the common cold or backpains, unfortunately.

Why so much about the TAC as a "laymens" organisation? They're an activist NGO, sure, and not a formal scientific body, so it's not surprising that many of their active high profile people have legal and other training if they're formally trained at all. But plenty of scientists are involved and/or support them.