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Monday, 6 October 2008

Thabo Mbeki should have won the Nobel prize in medicine

The Noble prize in Medicine is this year shared between Harald zur Hausen from Germany for discovering that human papilloma virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer, and France's Francoise Barre- Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier from France for discovering the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The discovery of HIV have paved the way for understanding the nature of this "thing" (viruses are generally not defined as lives). And the more we learn about the virus the more distressed we feel, as few "things" on our planet can compete with this virus' ingenious design.

HIV have several traits which makes it stand out among pathogens. Firstly, the virus attacks the very white blood corpuscles that are suppose to get rid of viruses (i.e the T-cells). Secondly, the virus have an incubation time of many years, which allows the carrier to infect others before discovering that he/she have the virus. Thirdly, the virus is very mutation prone and mutates virtually every time it replicates. The last trait makes it quite impossible to catch HIV with vaccines as the virus simple evolves away into safety whenever some new HIV-medicine is tested. One could say that HIV is perfect in its imperfection.

Considering the above, one needs to understand that the battle against HIV will not be won in the research lab, but it have to be won out in the field, among people. Changing the attitude towards the plague of our time, perhaps with the help of ABC (Abstinent, Being faithful, Condomise), needs to be of highest priority if we will be able to turn the ship around. The first step would be for politicians and leaders in HIV-infested country to start talking about and admitting to the problems with HIV/AIDS, like for example former South African president Thabo Mbeki has done (see video clip). He should have been awarded this year's Nobel prize in medicine for his contribution in fighting HIV/AIDS.


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15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You mean that Thabo Mbeki who had sex with a HIV-positive woman and then said everything was ok because he "took a shower afterwards"?? Yes he really earn the nobel-prize! Ha ha haaa.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>anonymous

No, you are confusing Mbeki with Zuma.

Anders said...

Yeah, Mbeki is the professed "Aids dissident" who authored a paper which "compared Aids scientists to latter-day Nazi concentration camp doctors and portrayed black people who accepted orthodox Aids science as "self-repressed" victims of a slave mentality".

He also "blocked the distribution of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs in public hospitals because he believed pharmaceutical companies were overstating the link between HIV and Aids to sell drugs, and underplaying the toxic side effects of ARVs which dissidents said killed more people than the disease."

"Personally, I don't know anybody who has died of Aids," Mr Mbeki said, adding when asked whether he knew anyone with HIV, "I really, honestly don't".

Great guy.

Jan DeKlerk said...

One might joke about this tragedy, and one should because the reality is just too horrible to believe of the results of Mbeki's denialism. More than 8million infected with AIDS plus the deadly variety of Tuberculosis, some 360,000 people a year dying of it in South Africa. Mbeki should be tried with his health minister for crimes against humanity! The SA military now is so unhealthy and indeed psychologically so dangerous because of this AIDS-TB infection that more than 22,000 of their 55,000 military people are infected with it and dying, causing a terrible danger because these soldiers are dangerous and very resentful. They have access to huge quantities of sophisticated military hardware and the SA military is just a powder keg waiting to explode, warns this top SA psychiatrist.

I am a cop and the same problem is also happening in the SA police, with men having easy access to weapons simply gunning down their superiors and their families, all because of AIDS. The country is falling apart thanks to Mbeki.

See my blog http://leavingsaverysoon.blogspot.com/

Medvetenskap said...

Even if ignoring what some comments already have made clear regarding Mbekis previous stance on HIV/AIDS, he would not be eligible to win the medicine/physiology prize.

If any Nobel Prize would be awarded for any such contribution you mention, it would be the Peace Prize.

In my blog, I write (in swedish) on the subject of this years Nobel Prize and HIV/AIDS-denial:

http://medvetenskap.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/nobelpris-och-hivaids-fornekelse/

Regards.

JanDeKlerk said...

Mbeki the peace prize? You are surely joking. He has caused more warfare inside his own country than any other African leader anywhere. His public posturing with that clown Mugabe in Zimbabwe has led to even more warfare in that tragic country than before Mbeki started with his 'peace negotiations'. Europeans are so easily fooled by such public posturing from African leaders, they don't want to see the truth when it's staring them in the face!

medvetenskap said...

Jandeklerk, no no you misunderstood me. I did not suggest Mbeki to be a worthy receiver of the Peace prize, not at all.
I was merely pointing out that a Nobel Prize in medicine/physiology would not be awarded for the type of work the blog author described, as the prize is awarded for medical/biological research. The _type_ of work suggested, would only be subject of the Peace Prize, among the Nobels. It was generally speaking, not suggesting Mbeki as a peace prize winner.

JanDeKlerk said...

Thanks for explaining it to me. I personally feel of course that there are at least two South Africans who should have received the Nobel prize for medicine a long time ago - Dr Christiaan Barnard and the virologist Dr Margaretha Isaacson, whose groundbreaking work throughout Africa has led to the development of a viable cure for secondary Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever patients after she'd deliberately exposed herself to the disease and then tested out her conviction that the blood-plasma from recovered patients would cure her. Which it did. South Africa is an endemic region for Congo Fever and this treatment is used in the Northern Cape especially, and 50% of the patients are cured. She also did groundbreaking work in many other virological outbreaks over the years. Barnard, well I think everybody knows who this amazing doctor was.

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Kishore said...

Hi to everybody, this is kishore. I want to share details of Nobel Prize. For the information on Nobel Prize history, prize money, winners by year, winners by category, winning countries list, list of Noble prize winners, list of countries, winners photos and etc details are available on “Altiusdirectory.com”.

http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/nobel-prize-winners.html

Anonymous said...

You seem to have missed Mr Mbeki's point. When he said that people do not die of AIDS, he was not being denialist. NO ONE DIES OF AIDS. AIDS DOES NOT KILL ANYONE, it weakens your immune system so that it cannot fight diseases that affect you. What Mbek advocated was that ARV's should not be rolled out on their own. Most people that were on ARV's died earlier than anticipated because they took the treatment on empty stomachs. So, Mbeki advocated for the eradication of poverty as a long term solution when people go on ARV's. Which is why he introduced a government grant that is given out to patients who are put on ARV's.

My personal opinion : My sex life should not be a government resopnsibility. If people are gonna spread their legs without taking precations they should be responsible enough to pay for their own AIDS treatment...

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