June 5 2006 was the 25th anniversary of the first medical report of Aids. 25 years on, Aids is a global catastrophe, with 25 million dead and another 40 million infected. The UN held a crisis session in May 2006. But the disaster could have been ...
prevented. What went wrong? In body count aids campaigner and journalist Peter Gill calls those responsible to account. Meticulously researched, the title unearths new and shocking facts. How successive US presidents, including Bill Clinton (now a great Aids champion), failed to provide leadership against the pandemic. How George W Bush committed $15 billion to fighting Aids, but insists on a seriously flawed Aids prevention policy. How Christian campaigners for sexual abstinence influence the US Aids programme -- and how moral disapproval of prostitution and needle exchange put vulnerable people at risk. How sex, race and the politics of liberation fatally blinkered President Mbeki's response to Aids in South Africa where one in five are HIV-positive, and how his health minister, a qualified doctor, says that garlic is a better treatment than drugs. How one African leader failed to respond to the death of thousands of men, women and children, and then declared: 'the wages of sin are death'. How courageous Roman Catholic missionaries in South America and Africa stood up for condoms gainst the rigid opposition of their local superiors and the Vatican. How western pharmaceutical companies manoeuvred to protect their patents and profits against the interests of poor people. How Tony Blair's Labour government vigorously promotes universal Aids treatment in Africa, but ignores the fate of many HIV-positive Africans in Britain. And how the Thatcher government did better than Labour in combating Aids. The title includes unique interviews with politicians, church leaders, campaigners and HIV positive people - Colin Powell, who as US Secretary of State was in charge of the Bush Aids programme, is now sharply at odds with the administration on the question of condoms; Dr German Velasquez, a World Health Organization official, who was assaulted and warned to 'stop messing with the pharmaceutical industry'; Zackie Achmat, HIV-positive South African activist, who refused to take his treatment until the government made antiretrovirals available to everyone; Father Valeriano Paitoni, an Italian missionary in Sao Paulo, who says that if Christ was on earth today, He would be saying 'Use the condom.' Peter Gill has recently led a major campaign against Aids in India for the BBC World Service Trust. He has been a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in south Asia and the Middle East, and has travelled widely in the developing world as a TV reporter for Thames Television, Channel 4 and the BBC.
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Date of publication: 19/07/2006
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