By Justin Sink
Former President Jimmy Carter said he nearly came to blows with former South African president Thabo Mbeki over his refusal to authorize antiretroviral treatments during the AIDS epidemic.
“The first time I came here to Cape Town, I almost got in a fight with the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, because he was refusing to let AIDS be treated,” Carter told the Sunday Times.
“That’s the closest I’ve come to getting into a fist fight with a head of state," he added.
A study by researchers at Harvard in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes estimated that the South African government could have prevented the premature deaths of 365,000 people had it provided the drugs to AIDS patients.