An Egyptian military official announced last week the country’s army had discovered the cure for AIDS as well as Hepatitis C, setting off a wave of criticism from politicians and medial professionals. The method said to be able to cure AIDS, Hepatitis C and similar viruses will become available in June.
The doctor who made the announcement, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, said he developed the cures using his medicinal experience spanning over two decades. His research project was allegedly taken on as a secret, military endeavor. Since the project had reached “success,” the military announced the findings publicly.
“Defeating the virus is [an]…easy process,” said Abdul-Atti, “but God grants wisdom to…[who] he wants.” The treatments have supposedly cured 100 percent of AIDS cases and 95 percent of Hepatitis C cases.
The announcement was met with a sea of criticism and doubt from both political and scientific communities. Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who aided the Egyptian military in ousting President Mohammad Morsi last July, is expected to run for the presidency. Many critics of Abdel-Atti’s announcement, which showed glorifying pictures of the military, say the claim is a political stunt to sway election results, set to take place by the end of April 2014.
Egyptian surgeon Dr. Gamal el-Ebaidy expressed annoyance towards the announcement, which he believes to be without scientific merit. “Medicine,” he said, “has nothing to do with politics.” The director for Univesity College London’s Institute for Liver and Digestive Health Massimo Pinzani said, “…until [more evidence] is…provided, it should be regarded as a potential fraud.”
The harsh reception of the Egyptian military’s discovered “cure” for AIDS intensified when Essam Heggy, the scientific adviser to the interim President, said the claim was defamatory to Egypt’s scientific community. “I want to be clear, “he said, “what has been said…about the invention…hurts the image of scientists…in Egypt.”
The equipment known as the “Complete Cure” device extracts infected blood from the body, cleanses it and returns the purified version back into the body. Abdel-Atti described the process as if it were with complete ease, comparing it to serving a ground meat dish. The supporters of the claim continue to question its opponents.
Maha Salim, a state media reporter asks the critics, “Has the level of doubt reached…[so] high [a] level on an international breakthrough?” The reporter added the “cure” is something all people should be celebrating, noting the epidemic of Hepatitis C in Egypt.
Nearly 10 percent of all people in the country suffer from Hepatitis C which can lead to complications of the liver and even cancer. “I hope that the [claim] turns out to be true,” said 35-year-old taxi driver, Ahmed Morad. However, this would not be the first time the Egyptian leadership has disappointed or embarrassed the country. Less than four months ago, a legitimate investigation was opened against a puppet over accusations of terrorism.
Egypt has been a state of inevitable turmoil since the 2011 uprisings which have led to a series of different governing bodies. After the sudden, unexplained replacement of the prime minister this Wednesday and the announcement of the military discovery for the cure of AIDS, Egypt’s people are sure to be critical of any public action until a recognized government is established.
By Erin P. Friar