African population doubled from 400 to 800 millions during the HIV-AIDS era
Based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO) Chigwedere et al. have "estimated" that 1.8 million South Africans were killed between 2000 and 2005 by a new Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic, and that 330,000 of those were lost because "feasible treatments" with anti-HIV drugs were not available. They blamed former president Mbeki and others, who questioned the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, for restricting anti-HIV drugs, specifically AZT and Nevirapine.
In view of the paradox that HIV would cause a huge epidemic in Africa, but not in any other continent despite global prevalence since 1985, we ask here what evidence exists for the claims of (1) 1.8 million South African HIV-deaths, and (2) for anti-HIV drugs able to prevent them.
1) Surprisingly we found no specific numbers for South African "AIDS cases" in WHO fact sheets. Based on verifiable statistics from South Africa, the US and the World Bank we found instead that the South African population increased by 3 million between 2000 and 2005, and had grown steadily from 29 to 49 million since the early 1980s when HIV-AIDS presumably begun. The monotonic growth trajectory shows no sudden loss of 1.8 million between 2000 and 2005, although about 25% were HIV antibody-positive. The population of Uganda also doubled since 1980, despite static prevalence of antibodies against HIV. Even Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole increased from 400 to 800 million between 1980 and 2007 despite high prevalence of antibodies against HIV. We conclude that African growth is independent of HIV, because HIV is an inherently nonpathogenic passenger, neutralized by antibody in millions of Africans with or without AIDS.
2) We adduce biological and statistical evidence that anti-HIV drugs, including the DNA chain-terminator AZT and Nevirapine, cause life threatening AIDS-defining and "non-AIDS-defining" diseases, but may have HIV-independent benefits against microbial infections and cancers. Thus restriction of anti-HIV drugs may have saved lives of HIV-positives and allowed normal growth to continue in South Africa.