The big retreat. No Egypt HIV miracle cure after all

Not at all funny to be messed about like this if you have HIV. But perhaps a wry smile as cynical Egypt coup leaders start the big retreat after lunatic-level propaganda claim to have miracle HIV cure

Unlimited cynicism....
Ahmed Abdel-Raheem
On 1 March 2014 15:15

Over the past week, and as reported in the English-speaking world by The Commentator here, the Egyptian coup leaders' media stooges launched one of the most absurd attempts to legitimise a dictatorship in recent history -- a claim that the military had invented a miracle cure for HIV and Hepatitis C, (Swine Flu was later thrown in as a bonus).

The report went viral across the Arabic media, and got no small amount of attention throughout the West. Given the sheer, crass insensitivity of the claim -- tens of millions of people suffer from these life-changing, and life-threatening conditions; playing with their lives was bound to evoke a response -- it was inevitable that at some point we would see a retreat.

And, behold, we have one.

Now it is being claimed that the Egyptian military (with the help of God, of course) has merely invented a new diagnostic device. We will come to that in a moment. But first, lest anyone be in any doubt about what was being claimed, it is worth recalling what was originally said.

Al-Ahram newspaper, for example, reported in a front-page headline: ''Al-Ahram exclusively publishes the details of the HIV and Hepatitis devices that can both detect, in 30 seconds with a very high accuracy, and treat, the two resistant diseases, with a 98 percent rate of success.''

The report stressed that both diseases can be diagnosed without having to take a blood sample from the patients and can be treated in just 16 hours: a miracle and a blessing from God, it added.

In another front-page story, Al-Ahram said: ''The invention had its beginnings 22 years ago, in secret and under the protection of intelligence forces.''

It stressed that, ''the treatment of both diseases is very cheap and has no side-effects... This treatment is unprecedented and is the best in the world. Its rate of success is 95-100%, and the patient gets completely cured in only 15 or 16 hours. The only thing is that the symptoms of the disease could start returning, if the patient stopped the treatment,'' Al-Ahram added.

It was designed to promote joy and happiness that once again the Egyptian people were in the hands of the military. Post-coup Egypt: an example to the world! The troubles of ordinary Egyptians; their suffering and pain, how soon would they come to an end! HIV, the medical curse of the modern world had been solved.

Or not.

Today Al-Ahram newspaper itself has been forced into a humiliating climb down, publishing an interview with Dr. Gamal Sheha, Professor of Liver Diseases at Mansoura University in Egypt and one of those who are involved in the so-called "C-Fast" device for detecting and treating Hepatitis. (For the record, "C-Fast" is the Hepatitis element of "Complete Cure" which also includes "I-Fast" for HIV. It's all garbage, but just so you know.)

In the interview, Dr. Gamal was quoted as saying, "C-Fast is only for diagnosis and it has nothing to do with treatment; we are still in need of some co-operation from experts in physics to explain how the device works and this will take some time.''

This is for C-Fast, what about "I-Fast''? The report said nothing. And what about the treatment of swine flu? There's no word. The whole report focuses on international criteria for scientific research, blah, blah, blah.

So, now it is clear that there is no ''miracle cure'' for HIV or Hepatitis.

But the question is, who is responsible for the disappointment that patients must now endure? The cynicism and the desperation of the coup leaders leaves one speechless.

One, perhaps, still has words enough for this: Where, after all the disgraceful hype is Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi? When will he get down on his knees to beg forgiveness from the Egyptian people, not to mention the desperate millions of sufferers world-wide who he abused for the sake of a cruel and pointless ploy for a legitimacy he will never get?

A Contributing Editor to The Commentator, the writer, currently based in Europe, is an Egyptian poet, actor, and political intellectual

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