The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back

Nicoli Nattrass will discuss her new book, The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back with Nathan Geffen at the Book Lounge in Cape Town on Wednesday 30 May at 17h30 for 18h00. All welcome.

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Health Intelligence Magazine: Is it marketing or education?

There's a deep irony in the latest edition of Health Intelligence (Edition 15 May/June 2012). In an article by staff writer Clio Stevens (Online Content Manager & Writer) titled Behind the scenes of pharmaceutical marketing: the details of veiled persuasion, she writes "We've published accounts of ... disguising marketing programmes as 'professional education'".

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ASA upholds Equal Education complaint against Patrick Holford

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has upheld complaints lodged by Equal Education and Harris Steinman against vitamin salesman Patrick Holford.

Confidentiality and bad science

When evaluating survey data the devil is always in the detail. In a recent case the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) allowed Solal Technologies to keep crucial survey details secret. This decision deprived the complainant, Marcus Low, from an opportunity to interrogate spurious survey findings.

Quacks and Cultropreneurs

Professor Nicoli Nattrass of the Centre for Social Science at the University of Cape Town has published a new book called The AIDS conspiracy: Science fights back. In this article for Quackdown, she explores some of the themes in her book: how AIDS denialism and quackery are symbiotic. She also explains how AIDS denialism is facilitated by an organised movement that brings together people who share a conspiratorial belief that HIV science has been corrupted by the pharmaceutical industry.

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Company's HIV treatment claim condemned

Clinicians and AIDS workers have condemned Imuniti Holdings for claims it is making about its nutritional supplements.

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Gervan Lubbe: the fraudster who promoted pseudo-science and the media that believed him

Controversial 'inventor' Gervan Lubbe was recently imprisoned for 20 years for defrauding investors of millions of rands. Had investors and the media been more scheptical of Lubbe’s pseudo-scientific claims, things might not have gone so far.

An unfortunate judgment

On 29 February Quackdown published an article titled A court case and a mathematical model expose the risk of TB in South African prisons. The article told how Dudley Lee had been an awaiting trial prisoner for several years before being acquitted. In that time he became ill with active tuberculosis (TB).

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The Tara KLamp scandal deepens

Today the Mercury published a story written by Anso Thom of Health-e exposing serious adverse events due to the Tara KLamp circumcision device. The photographs, which prove the seriousness of these adverse events, are published in this Quackdown article. The Mercury article also describes a draft research report that was commissioned by the Kwazulu-Natal government. The report describes possibly unethical behaviour.

Backstreet abortion adverts are widespread

South Africa recently marked 15-years of the adoption of its progressive abortions laws. Yet one can still walk down a busy city street and see adverts for backstreet abortions transforming the street-lights into grammatically-liberal classified ads. Tearing down these adverts gives some sense of satisfaction, but for every advert removed, several more take its place.

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