Here’s a thing: video of Matthias Rath speaking at a rally in London on Saturday March 24 2007 to rapturous applause.
For those who don’t remember, Matthias Rath is the German vitamin entrepreneur who sells his proprietary vitamin pills to people dying of AIDS in South Africa instead of antiretroviral medication, spreading the message that AIDS medication is actively harmful, and that his vitamin pills are better.
In South Africa where he does this, Rath has the ear of the government. Thabo Mbeki is famously an HIV denialist. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recommends fruit and veg for AIDS, to the general concern of the international AIDS community. Access to lifesaving antiretroviral medication has been mindlessly and unnecessarily obstructed by these cranks, in a country where 10% of the population is HIV positive, there are 1,200,000 Aids orphans, and 350,000 people died of the disease last year alone. Among the dead you can count some of the anecdotal success stories who Rath has used as promotional figures in his advertising material.
And in London, as you can see, they applaud him. They applaud him.
Previous Rath entries here. To be honest, I’ve got a pretty strong stomach, but this is the one story which makes me feel really quite sad.