A South African court has struck down unauthorized vitamin trials as a treatment for HIV, the BBC reports (news.bbc.co.uk, 6/13).

The court ruled against Matthias Rath, MD, a German physician, and U.S. doctor David Rasnick, a former advisor to South African president Thabo Mbeki. Dr. Rath was accused by advocacy group the Treatment Action Campaign and the South African Medical Association of conducting illegal vitamin trials in poor communities.

According to the BBC, Rath promotes vitamins and minerals as a treatment for HIV/AIDS. Activists say that Rath’s trials have caused unnecessary deaths as people stop taking their antiretroviral medications in order to participate in the trials.

According to the article, one in five South African adults is living with HIV.