There was an investigation which was led by the Harvard University which demonstrated that Mbeki’s denial of the way that HIV prompts AIDS, caused the passing of more than 300 000 individuals.
Deaths that were totally avoidable, yet Mbeki chosen to conflict with science and selected to deny the presence of the truth that HIV prompted AIDS.
South Africa is one of the countries in the world with the highest prevalence rates of HIV (with around 5.6 million people living with the virus, which translates to about 17.3% of the population.) Mbeki refused the existence of HIV and subsequently refused anti-retroviral drugs, which he referred to as “poison.”
In 2000, Mbeki called together a round table of experts, including Duesberg and his supporters, but also their opponents, to discuss the cause of Aids. Later that year, at the International Aids conference in Durban, he publicly rejected the accepted scientific wisdom. Aids, he said, was brought about by the collapse of the immune system – but not because of a virus. The cause, he said, was poverty, bad nourishment and general ill-health. The solution was not expensive western medicine, but the alleviation of poverty in Africa.
HIV/AIDS denial-ism in South Africa, as he phenomenon has come to be known, resulted in a collapse that was totally unnecessary. While Mbeki was busy calling on “experts” discussing on whether HIV led to AIDS, many people died as this area was grossly neglected intentionally. His government refused to give offer antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.