28 April 2000

What Causes AIDS in South Africa?

What do you think causes AIDS,
President Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa?

American researchers who dispute the link between the HIV virus and AIDS cause AIDS.

Inhaling poisonous dust in a diamond mine causes AIDS

Peter Duesburg, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California
at Berkeley, causes AIDS

The bootheel of the oppressor causes AIDS.

Statements like "Until all the questions that keep cropping up are answered, we are not going to
be able to say to a person who disagrees with the conventional thinking, 'You are wrong or right.'"
cause AIDS

Imperialism, colonialism, and apartheid cause AIDS.

David Rasnick, a biochemist, and Charles Geshekter, a professor of African history at California
State University, Chico, cause AIDS.

Movies filmed in Los Angeles cause AIDS.

The IMF and the World Bank cause AIDS.

Sweatshop labor causes AIDS.

Your Health Ministry's refusal to pay for drug treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, even to victims of rape, causes AIDS.

The New York Times causes AIDS.

American pharmaceutical companies, who refuse to license South African companies to make
generic, less expensive versions of anti-AIDS drugs, cause AIDS.

A vegetarian diet causes AIDS.

US Vice President Al Gore, who commented in a memo that the protection of pharmaceutical
patents should be "a central focus" in upcoming talks with South Africa's then-Deputy President
Thabo Mbeki, stating that the Clinton administration was concerned about the law's vagueness
and asking the South African government to assure it would "not undermine legal protections" for
patent holders, causes AIDS.

The trade "watch list" causes AIDS.

Political prisoners cause AIDS.

The unspent $6.2 million of your country's $17 million AIDS budget for the year 1999, causes

Condoms cause AIDS.

The lawsuit brought against your 1997 Medicine Act by 40 pharmaceutical companies claiming
violations of their World Trade Organization intellectual property rights, causes AIDS.

Communism causes AIDS.

Your recent decision to remove anti-AIDS drug AZT from the market, declaring it unsafe, causes

Soccer causes AIDS.

Your country's staggering AIDS epidemic (12.9% of the adult population, 6 million people,
infected; 1,500 new cases reported every day; more than 60 percent of beds at state hospitals
filled with AIDS patients) causes AIDS.
Sunday, March 19
The New York Times Magazine
A photo essay

"Invisible Poor"
Photos of 12 poor people
"How they disappeared"

In the same issue
Photos of David Bowie
12 of them, in fact

Newspoetry at Spineless Books