Look, Ma—No AIDS!


Tori Marlin at the Chicago Reader has a long, disturbing expose on Genvia, an anti-AIDS spray that's actually being adopted by some countries as a way to combat sexually transmitted disease. Its creator, Samuel Evans, had no medical experience, but had read an article about how the AIDS virus "didn't have great locomotion" and could be killed with the right anti-viral cocktail.

"It will kill HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, and gonorrhea and has the added bonus of killing male sperm instantly to prevent babies from being born with AIDS," he said. "This is history in the making."

And the testing of the protect consist of… one small experiment in China.

Evans says Genvia was tested further on 100 people at Gulou Hospital in Nanjing for about a year, adding, "I don't absolutely know whether that one year was 10 months or 12 months." He also says that in 2000 he received a certificate from the Chinese Academy of Medicine stating that Genvia had "passed all standards" for use as a "topically applied disinfectant" effective against HIV. He plans to post the test data on a Web site so other researchers can scrutinize it, but the AIDS Foundation's Jim Pickett doesn't understand why Evans has waited six years. "With a valid trial you want that data out there," he says. "You're dying to get it out there."

Again, it all seems like the work of a shameless hustler… except that the hustler has managed to convince some desperate people that he can prevent a disease that's ravaging their countries.