A little late, and a rare bout of seriousness for this blog, but Saturday’s Bad Science in the Guardian was another great column by Ben Goldacre, about an AIDS denier who, in advocating the avoidance of drug treatments not only managed to kill herself, but more significantly helped fuel the AIDS crisis by encouraging others to avoid proven treatments.

As with the MMR scare, journalists and editors take stories like herbal remedies for AIDS, denials of the link between HIV and AIDS and so forth and run with them irresponsibly. When taken seriously and promoted by the media, fringe theories like these can result in tragic consequences. In the case of AIDS, as Goldacre explains, this has fueled disastrous policies towards the control of HIV and AIDS in Africa, resulting in countless dead.

To a lesser or greater extent, the people and media outlets who promote these failed policies, usually for their own profit, bear some responsibility for those deaths.



January 6, 2009. Tags: . Uncategorized.

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