2000: Mbeki at 13th International AIDS Conference
During his speech on the opening day of the 13th International AIDS Conference held in Durban, 2000, President Thabo Mbeki controversially focused on poverty rather than HIV/AIDS as a leading killer in South Africa. "As I listened and heard the whole story about our own country, it seemed to me that we could not blame everything on a single virus," Mbeki said (read full speech).
The Durban conference gave scientists the opportunity to present research that conclusively refuted the premise that AIDS drugs were ineffective and dangerously toxic. Executive Director of UNAIDS Peter Pilot concluded: "This conference has made it irreversible — prevention and care are combined."