The wanton idiocy exhibited by South African President Thabo Mbeki who has for years insisted on downplaying the impact that AIDS is having on his country has always been tragic. The story just keeps getting worse, and the inaction of the Mbeki government (and indeed their active resistance to international help and the adoption of condom use) borders on the criminal.
How bad is bad? Well, during the years when Mbeki downplayed the issue and blocked solutions, the death rate across the entire nation of South Aftrica has soared. Annual deaths in South Africa increased 57% between 1997 and 2003. And AIDS is the only reasonable answer to the question of what could’ve caused the shift.