Durban declaration

Durban Declaration

Durban declaration

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The Durban Declaration is a statement signed by over 5,000 physicians and scientists in the year 2000, affirming that HIV is the cause of AIDS. The declaration was drafted in response to AIDS denialism, and particularly to address South African president Thabo Mbeki's support for AIDS denialists. It was written several weeks prior to the 2000 International AIDS Conference, held in Durban, South Africa from July 9-14, 2000, and was published in the medical journal Nature to coincide with the Durban conference. The declaration called the evidence that HIV causes AIDS "clear-cut, exhaustive and unambiguous".

Each person who signed the document was required to have a Ph.D. or M.D.-equivalent degree. To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, scientists "working for commercial companies were asked not to sign." The signatories included eleven Nobel prize winners.

Michael Specter, writing in the New Yorker, called the Durban Declaration "one of the saddest documents in modern scientific history," reflecting concern that Mbeki's embrace of AIDS denialism was a disastrous response to South Africa's AIDS epidemic. and initially dismissed the Durban declaration. Health...
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