Friday, February 2, 2007

Oh, Good Lord.

A claim by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh that he can cure Aids in three days has been lambasted by a leading South African HIV/Aids specialist.

"I'm astonished. The danger of a president standing up [to say this] is shocking," Jerry Coovadia told the BBC.

Mr Jammeh said last month he had begun treating 10 patients on Thursdays with secret medicinal herb ingredients.

His health minister backs his claims, saying in trials so far patients had gained weight and physically improved.

"A response within three to 10 days and a three-day course is almost inconceivable for a disease like HIV/Aids," said Prof Coovadia, who heads the HIV research team at the University of KwaZulu Natal and is a member of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign.

He said that science was many years away from finding a cure "so the fact that someone announces a cure like this is exceedingly difficult to accept".


President Jammeh, who says he can also cure asthma, made his announcement to a gather of foreign diplomats last month.

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