Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AIDS Denialism in South Africa

Nicolli Natrass, an economist at the University of Cape Town (who, for the record, taught me a fantastic course on the economic problems of Africa), had a great article about AIDS denialism in Skeptical Inquirer last year. The article, "Aids Denialism vs. Science", documents in detail how dangerous unscientific thinking can be - in this case, hundreds of thousands if not millions of people were harmed. Concludes Natrass:
People in positions of authority, be they statesmen like Mbeki or parents like Maggiore, hold the lives of others in their hands. For them to reject science in favor of AIDS denialism is not only profoundly irresponsible but also tragic. But responsibility for unnecessary suffering and death rests also with the AIDS denialists who promote discredited and dangerous views and encourage people to reject scientifically tested treatments.

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