[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Aids experts condemn SA minister
Aids activists
South African Aids activists also want Ms Tshabalala-Msimang to go
More than 60 international experts on HIV/Aids have called for the resignation of the South African health minister because of her stance on Aids.

Manto Tshabalala-Msimang tells those with HIV to eat garlic and beetroot.

In a letter sent to President Thabo Mbeki, the academics called the government's health policy "disastrous and pseudo-scientific".

"Many people [in South Africa] are dying unnecessarily" because they cannot get Aids drugs, the letter says.

South Africa is one of the countries worst affected by Aids, with some 5.5m people with HIV.


"To have as health minister a person who now has no international respect is an embarrassment to the South African government," say the experts.

They include 1975 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine David Baltimore and Robert Gallo, the developer of the first HIV blood test and co-discoverer of HIV as the cause of Aids.

South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang
President Mbeki has so far stood by Ms Tshabalala-Msimang

They declared that Anti-Retroviral drugs (ARVs) were the only medication currently available that could alleviate the consequences of HIV infection.

Three years ago, the government promised to give ARVs to some 380,000 people but so far fewer than half this number are being treated, the letter says.

At last month's international Aids conference in Toronto, United Nations special envoy for Aids in Africa Stephen Lewis said South Africa promoted a "lunatic fringe" attitude to HIV/Aids.

The South African government has said it will change the way its Aids message is communicated.

But Mr Mbeki has rejected previous calls to sack Ms Tshabalala-Msimang.

S Africa to change Aids message
24 Aug 06 |  Africa

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

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific