Urge Health Officials to Refute Gambian President’s False Claims of HIV Cure

Target: Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo, Word Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa

Goal: Make it clear to the people of Gambia that their President’s claims of a cure for HIV/AIDS are completely false

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh publicly claims that he can cure HIV/AIDS with a blend of herbs. He says he became aware of the “cure” in 2007 and that dozens of people in the small, West African nation of nearly 1.8 million who have taken it are now free of the disease. This is of course completely unsubstantiated and false. Consider the ramifications of this ridiculous claim.

The leader of this nation is telling citizens who take this ineffective herb blend that they are no longer infected with HIV/AIDS. These people will now spread the disease thinking they are cured. Also, they will stop taking their anti-retroviral medication, which is a proven treatment, and their condition will deteriorate. It is a tragic situation to have such a powerful person expressing such ignorant and erroneous beliefs because the outcome could be catastrophic.

There is no use trying to appeal to Jammeh because he has proven to be a very unreasonable and violent man prone to making statements that are outright lies like “the first Atlantic flight and the first flight from Eastern Europe landed in The Gambia.” In 2008 Jammeh announced that he would “cut off the head” of any homosexual and that they should leave the country.

Obviously it would be best for the people of The Gambia if Jammeh was not in power. Until then, we must appeal to the WHO Regional Office for Africa, which operates in Gambia as well as many other African countries, to make it clear to Gambians that there is no known cure for HIV/AIDS and their President certainly does not have it. The reason the WHO exists is to make the world a healthier place, and educating Gambians to the fact that they cannot be cured of this terrible disease will have a direct effect on Gambia and the world.


Dear Dr. Gomes Sambo,

There are probably few people in this world who know more about the medical well-being of the people of Africa than you. Gambia’s President Yayah Jammeh, with his claims of a phony cure for HIV/AIDS, is a direct threat to the health of the people of Gambia and the world. Since he is obviously an unreasonable man, we appeal to you to help stop this potential catastrophe.

Please use your influence and the influence of the WHO Regional Office for Africa to educate the people of Gambia as to the fallacy of their President’s claims. Your actions could save countless lives and could directly help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. If people are aware that Jammeh is wrong, they will not go on spreading the disease thinking they are cured. Also, they will not stop taking their antiretroviral medication that sustains their quality of life.

As the deservedly well-respected man you are, we ask you to take a stand against this ignorance. There are of course greater concerns in the world, but waging a public campaign in Gambia against this false cure could have a drastically positive outcome with relatively minimal effort. The effect could be immediate.


[Your Name Here]

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