Newly published research assesses impact of former Gambian dictator's fraudulent HIV cure

In a new research paper published June 12, 2019 in the Health and Human Rights Journal, AIDS-Free World’s Sarah Bosha* and researchers from the Eck Institute and the University of the Gambia assess the impact of former Gambian dictator’s fraudulent HIV cure.

The abstract is below; access the full paper here.

The Impact of the Presidential Alternative Treatment Program on People Living with HIV and the Gambian HIV Response

Sarah L. Bosha, Michelle Adeniyi, Jenna Ivan, Roya Ghiaseddin, Fabakary Minteh, Lamin F. Barrow, and Rex Kuye


In January 2007, former president of The Gambia Yahya Jammeh created the Presidential Alternative Treatment Program (PATP), which introduced a fraudulent “HIV cure.” PATP and the fraudulent HIV herbal cure (PATP cure) were widely advertised in state media through patient testimonials and specially produced broadcasts of Jammeh administering treatment, enticing people living with HIV to join the program. Jammeh faced little to no opposition from within The Gambia. Due to the great power and influence he wielded, PATP was nothing short of a health dictatorship. This paper argues that PATP and the PATP cure violated the human rights of people living with HIV in The Gambia and compromised HIV health service delivery. In addition, during PATP’s 10-year operation, the global health community was derelict in its duty to stop Jammeh’s promotion and use of the PATP cure and to protect people living with HIV.


*Sarah Bosha is Legal and Research Associate at AIDS-Free World and Assistant Teaching Professor of Global Health and Human Rights at the Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame. She leads the research collaboration between AIDS-Free World, the Eck Institute, and the Department of Public and Environmental Health at the University of The Gambia Medical School. The team is currently investigating the bogus HIV cure promoted by former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, highlighting how such cures impact people living with HIV and reduce the effectiveness of HIV control measures. A key objective of the research is to persuade the United Nations and World Health Organization to institute reforms ensuring the protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

(UN Photo/ Amanda Voisard)