Newspaper will continue to question HIV link with Aids

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The Independent Online
THE Sunday Times will continue its controversial campaign questioning whether HIV causes Aids and whether there is an epidemic of the disease in Africa, John Witherow, its acting editor, said yesterday, writes Steve Connor.

Mr Witherow said there would be no change in policy despite the resignation of the Sunday Times journalist Neville Hodgkinson, the driving force behind the newspaper's reports denying the link between HIV and Aids. 'We're not abandoning this by any means at all. We're not suddenly going to accept the orthodox line (on Aids),' Mr Witherow said. He hopes that Mr Hodgkinson will continue to come up with 'new news stories'.

Mr Hodgkinson says he is leaving at the end of the month to concentrate on writing a book on Aids and HIV, although he does not yet have a publisher for it.

His resignation comes only weeks after the departure of the newspaper's former editor, Andrew Neil, who became closely allied to the view of a few maverick scientists who claim that HIV is harmless and that the Aids epidemic in Africa is a myth promoted by vested-interest groups.

Mr Witherow said he was prepared to accept that the newspaper may have been wrong with its assertions about HIV not causing Aids. 'But I think we're a long way from being proved wrong,' he said.

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