Media release

Mbeki's response to questions about HIV/Aids in interview with Time Magazine

10 September 2000

10 September 2000

In response to media queries arising out of reports on the President’s views on response to HIV/AIDS as expressed in an interview with Time Magazine, we wish to refer those interested to the full transcript of the interview.

In the interview the President raises issues relating to the causes of immune deficiency and responses to it, leading to the conclusion that:

"If the scientists . . . say that the virus is part of the variety of things from which people acquire immune deficiency, I have no problem with that. But to say that this is the sole cause and therefore the only response to it is anti-retroviral drugs, [then] we’ll never be able to solve the AIDS problem"

and that:

"If you accept that there can be a variety of reasons, including poverty and the many diseases that afflict Africans, then you can have a more comprehensive treatment response"

We hope that those who wish to engage with these issues will do so on the basis of what the President actually says in the interview. The transcript - as well as the shortened version to be published in Time Magazine - is available on the Time Magazine web-site, and can be accessed from the home page of the government web-site, Government On Line, at

Y Abba Omar
Cell: 082 414 3383

Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)


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