Трагическая расплата за антинаучность

ПРИНСТОН. На всём протяжении своего пребывания на посту президента Южной Африки Табо Мбеки отвергал бытующее научное мнение о том, что СПИД вызывается вирусом иммунодефицита человека, а также то, что антиретровирусные препараты сохраняют жизни ВИЧ-положительных людей. Вместо этого он разделил взгляды маленькой группы учёных-диссидентов, которые считали заражение СПИДом следствием других причин.

Мбеки упорно продолжал отстаивать свою позицию, даже когда были приведены подавляющие факты против этой гипотезы. Когда все – даже Нельсон Манделла, героический борец за сопротивление против расового неравенства, являющийся первым чернокожим президентом в Южной Африке, – публично оспорили взгляды Мбеки, сторонники Табо решительно обвинили их.

В то время как Ботсвана и Намибия, граничащие с ЮАР государства, обеспечили антиретровирусными препаратами большинство жителей, инфицированных вирусом иммунодефицита, Южная Африка под руководством Мбеки не сделала этого. Научно-исследовательская группа из Гарвардского университета исследовала последствия этой стратегии. По самым скромным меркам подсчитано, что если бы правительство ЮАР предоставило антиретровирусные препараты как имеющим вирус иммунодефицита, так и беременным женщинам, находящимся в группе риска заражения своих детей, то это предотвратило бы 365000 преждевременных смертей.

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