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Health NGOs in Zambia denounce President's HIV/AIDS

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  • Leonard Boniface
    From Kaiser Daily Reports (kff.org) Global Challenges | Zambian Government Announces That Reported HIV/AIDS Cure Found To Be Pesticide [Jun 04, 2007] The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2007
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      From Kaiser Daily Reports (kff.org)

      Global Challenges | Zambian Government Announces That Reported HIV/AIDS
      Cure
      Found To Be Pesticide
      [Jun 04, 2007]

      The Zambian government on Friday announced that a widely reported
      HIV/AIDS cure, called Tetrasil, has been found to be a pesticide, AFP/Yahoo!
      News reports.

      According to Albert Mwango, a government specialist in HIV/AIDS drugs,
      Tetrasil also can be used as a disinfectant (AFP/Yahoo! News, 6/1).

      Some people living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia are abandoning their
      antiretroviral drug regimens for ineffective drugs that have been promoted
      in the media as cures for the disease, the Network of Zambian People
      Living with HIV and AIDS said recently. One of Zambia's weekly newspapers
      recently
      published a story saying that a cure for AIDS had been discovered in
      the U.S. and that the newspaper's editor was the authorized dealer of the
      therapy in
      Zambia. In addition, a traditional herbalist appeared on a live radio
      program and said that she had discovered a cure for AIDS (Kaiser Daily
      HIV/AIDS Report,
      5/22).

      According to Mwango, Tetrasil has "not been proven by any scientific
      means that it cures AIDS." He added, "But what has been proven is that it
      is a
      pesticide, which was used to disinfect swimming pools."

      The Treatment Advocacy and Literacy
      Campaign, which represents people living with HIV/AIDS, filed a
      complaint with the government asking it to ban Tetrasil because some people
      living with the disease are abandoning their treatment regimens. TALC
      program manager Felix Mwanza said that Edgar Ngoma -- owner of the
      newspaper that has been promoting the pesticide -- has administered Tetrasil
      to HIV-positive people
      "before clinical trials are conducted."

      Ministry of Health  Secretary Simon Miti said that
      the government has written to Ngoma asking him to follow procedures
      before administering Tetrasil. "We have a duty to protect lives of our
      citizens," Miti said, adding, "For a drug to be ingested, it has to be
      certified by the Pharmaceuticals Regulatory Authority" (AFP/Yahoo! News,
      6/1).

      In addition, the health ministry has summoned Ngoma and his partner in
      the U.S., Boyd Graves, to appear before a parliamentary committee and
      answer
      questions about Tetrasil. According to James Simpungwe, health director
      of clinical services at the health ministry, Ngoma and Graves could
      face
      prosecution if they do not submit a sample of Tetrasil for testing
      (Xinhuanet ,6/2).

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