BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 21 September, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Ministry attacks Mbeki Aids stance
Aids patient
South Africa's hospitals are full of Aids sufferers
By Barnaby Phillips in Johannesburg

A leaked internal document written by South Africa's Ministry of Health warns that the government's policies on coping with Aids are unacceptable from a human rights perspective.

South African President Thabo Mbeki
President Mbeki has questioned the link between HIV and Aids
The document, believed to have been written by senior officials in the Ministry, warns that the spread of Aids will become increasingly politically dangerous in the next few years.

This leaked document questions the very morality of President Thabo Mbeki's approach.

Mr Mbeki has doubts, both about the link between the HIV virus and Aids and the extent to which the disease has spread in South Africa.


The officials who wrote this document do not share his doubts.

They say millions of South Africans will die from the disease and whilst the government has hesitated over the use of anti-retroviral drugs, this document recommends their wider provision.

Lindokuhla Mkhwanazi at age 21, one of South Africa's Aids sufferers
South Africa was late to recognise the true scale of its Aids problem

Meanwhile, religious leaders, trades unionists and Aids campaigners have called on the government to publish another report by South Africa's Medical Research Council which states that Aids is the country's leading cause of death.

President Mbeki has always argued to the contrary and the Medical Research Council has delayed publication at the government's request.

The BBC's Barnaby Phillips
"HIV is taking a terrible toll"
See also:

21 Aug 01 | Africa
South Africa sued over Aids drugs
30 Jul 01 | Africa
Church rejects plea on condoms
09 Jun 01 | Africa
Funeral for child Aids icon
20 Jul 01 | Health
World's biggest health threats
15 Mar 01 | Africa
Analysis: Aids drugs and the law
24 Oct 00 | Aids
Aids drugs factfile
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories