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Denialism

Denialism 770 Adam Sitze decision to delay the provision of ARVs to South Africans between 1999 and 2003. This argument may be summarized as follows: HIV is not the only cause of the many immune deficiencies weakening the South African body politic; poverty also causes the acquisition of immune deficiencies; the science grounding HIV’s existence and treatment is not only questionable but racist; ARVs can neither prevent nor treat the acquisition of poverty-based immune deficiencies; ARVs are linked to the interests of multinational capital; ARVs are not even a cure for HIV and are toxic besides.2 Whatever the merits of these claims are on their own terms (the racism of HIV/AIDS epidemiology certainly has been well documented), ‘‘Castro Hlongwane’’ adds them up, by a kind of kettle logic, to reach what seems to have been a presupposed conclusion: the Ministry of Health need not rush to include ARV treatments as a part of the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) estimates that this conclusion has led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of poor people. It is tempting to read ‘‘Castro Hlongwane’’ as a mere effect of a more fundamental economic logic, such that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png South Atlantic Quarterly Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0038-2876
eISSN
1527-8026
DOI
10.1215/00382876-103-4-769
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

770 Adam Sitze decision to delay the provision of ARVs to South Africans between 1999 and 2003. This argument may be summarized as follows: HIV is not the only cause of the many immune deficiencies weakening the South African body politic; poverty also causes the acquisition of immune deficiencies; the science grounding HIV’s existence and treatment is not only questionable but racist; ARVs can neither prevent nor treat the acquisition of poverty-based immune deficiencies; ARVs are linked to the interests of multinational capital; ARVs are not even a cure for HIV and are toxic besides.2 Whatever the merits of these claims are on their own terms (the racism of HIV/AIDS epidemiology certainly has been well documented), ‘‘Castro Hlongwane’’ adds them up, by a kind of kettle logic, to reach what seems to have been a presupposed conclusion: the Ministry of Health need not rush to include ARV treatments as a part of the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) estimates that this conclusion has led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of poor people. It is tempting to read ‘‘Castro Hlongwane’’ as a mere effect of a more fundamental economic logic, such that

Journal

South Atlantic QuarterlyDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2004

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