When Mohamed Ahmed Ali, the military spokesperson, stated on his Facebook page last week that the Armed Forces have found a scientific solution for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, the statement attracted little attention.
In an official press conference on February 23, an Armed Forces officer declared that, “We have vanquished AIDS. We have vanquished Hepatitis C.”
“I thank [Field] Marshal [Abdel Fattah al-Sisi] for being like a stick [for the research to be completed]. He said we are at the tail of the queue and we need to jump to the front and win against the whole world in finding these cures,” the officer said.
“I swear you won’t find an AIDS patient in Egypt anymore. I swear you won’t find a Hepatitis C patient anymore. We won’t import drugs anymore,” he added passionately.
The so-called cure uses electromagnetism as a mechanism to treat HIV and Hepatitis C. The treatment can allegedly diagnose both diseases from a distance and has a high level of accuracy. The invention includes both a diagnosis component called C-Fast, on which research began three years ago, as well as a treatment dubbed Complete Cure.
The treatment is also being used as a marketing buzz for the military, with the name “Complete Cure” abbreviated to CC, which is commonly used as shorthand to refer to military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The officer described the military invention as an “early detector.” He likened the cure to giving a nutritional treatment like a meat skewer to patients — about which a spree of jokes erupted on online social networks.
In describing the cure, Ahmed, the military spokesperson, said that no samples were taken from patients to test the treatment, which was produced on a very small budget. According to the military presser, the device was developed confidentially by the military and will not be exported, in order to protect it from drug multinationals.
Meanwhile, Mostafa Hussein, a blogger and a medic, slammed the invention. On his blog, he wrote, “This device is nothing but a divining rod, a sham invention inspired by another sham invention that some hold responsible for the death of 26,000 Iraqis. The ADE651 is a bomb detector that was sold to Iraqi government by a British fraudster through a corrupt Iraqi general for millions of dollars. Both are currently where they belong: in prison.”
“If it’s true, as the army claims, that they have developed a gift for humanity, their inventions must be scrutinized by the international scientific community,” Hussein added.
Another skeptic, Dina Said, posted on Facebook that the scientifically reviewed research does not cover tools for early diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, let alone treatment. Even C-Fast, which is supposedly used for early Hepatitis C diagnosis has not been examined in peer-reviewed journals, she said.
“We are harmed when a country officially announces the first scientific discovery for the treatment and diagnosis of Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS without enough scientific evidence. This will turn us into a joke in the scientific community,” she wrote.
Interim President Adly Mansour was indeed reported to have requested a review of the cure by specialized scientific committees, media reports said on Monday.
Less than one percent of people in Egypt are HIV positive, while millions suffer from Hepatitis C, in what is believed to be a high prevalence of the virus compared to the worldwide average.
The use of the alleged treatment is slated to begin on June 30, the day the military celebrates the one year anniversary of its ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood.