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Bryan Murphy_Sida et pauvreté


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"The justifiable grim preoccupation of the caring public concerning the threat of global

plagues needs to be moderated and re-oriented towards a critical reappraisal of the link

between poverty and disease, and a re-emphasis on addressing the social roots of

disease. The lurid attention to AIDS is a graphic example. Progressives have lost their

reason over this phenomenon, and we need desperately to reclaim our balance. The world

depends on it.


"A virus is a convenient and simple "target" to rationalize medical responses, but it also

obscures other factors that would focus responses on long-term, substantive social and

economic transformation of the conditions that make people vulnerable to the diseases

that take advantage of chronic immune deficiency. The role of "medicine" - that is drugs -

in resolving the crisis can only be very limited, and there is serious concern and controversy

about the negative effects as well as the benefits of pharmaceutical approaches."

"Many progressives have concluded that although prevailing medical theory is not

accurate or complete, or even very helpful in the long run, it is what we have to go with

until something better comes along. We can never do away with poverty so we had better

make medicine work. Controversy about the nature and cause of acquired immune

deficiency syndrome, they believe, undermines the good that medical science

and humanitarian aid can accomplish.

"Scientific issues are matters for scientists to resolve, and not for politicians, or ordinary citizens, to debate. Debate only leads to public confusion and "politicization" of the issues. And it plays into the hands of cynical elements who use HIV/AIDS to spread messages of hate, bigotry, and paranoia. Therefore, controversy needs to be contained, and a consensus created to fight a "war" against the disease.

"While perhaps understandable, this approach to knowledge is undemocratic and relies on

coercion as much as education; it has always failed in the long run, and cannot succeed in

this case."

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