Denial killed the denialist; treatment killed the treatment activist. This cautionary tale-with-a-twist unfolded in South Africa in June, with flat-Earthers and realists each exploiting the obvious ironies to their own ends. First, Peter Mokaba, the African National Congress official who made international news with his vehement statements that HIV does not exist and AIDS drugs are poison, died of pneumonia -- at age 44. Word was that the real cause of death was AIDS. Then Sara H. -- mom of two, plaintiff in a lawsuit against the government to get HAART to pregnant women and top advocate -- died from lactic acidosis, due to poor monitoring of her antiretroviral regimen. Meantime, South Africa’s theater of the absurd debuted a new piece as the government moved to block a first-round Global Fund grant to its hardest-hit province, KwaZulu-Natal.
September 1, 2002 • By Cindra Feuer