CAIRO: The military has announced that it will delay implementing its new purported HIV and hepatitis C “treatment” for six months, Youm7 reported Saturday.
At a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, but actually started much later, the military said it will not be able to treat citizens suffering from HIV and hepatitis C at its hospitals until it proves the effectiveness of its claimed “Complete Cure Device” (CCD) on a large scale population.
Many international and local correspondents were prevented from attending the conference and the military’s claim to have developed a cure for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C has been widely critiqued.
The trial period for select patients still undergoing treatment must be extended for six months, insisted Gamal al-Serafy, the director of the military medical service, at the conference
“This is because the health of the Egyptian citizen is the most important thing,” Serafy said.
The armed forces will not allow any Egyptian to be treated with the CCD until after they are sure that the device is completely safe, he added.
Unveiling the innovation
In a press conference held in February, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel Atti, the head of Egypt’s Cancer Treatment and Screening Center, announced that he found a cure for AIDS/HIV and hepatitis C using the CCD.
The CCD, according to Atti, is supposed to draw blood from the patient, break down the disease and then recirculate purified blood back into the patient.
“I defeated AIDS by the grace of God with a 100 percent success rate,” Atti said at the February conference.
“I will take the AIDS from the patient and I will nourish the AIDS patient by giving him a skewer of kofta (ground meat) to nourish him.”
Dr. Madiha Khattab, a member at Atti’s research team, said during Sunday’s conference that there were positive results in the cases currently being treated by the device, and said about 160 hepatitis C patients are currently undergoing treatment.
Khatab said that the clinical trials were always meant to take 12 months; six months for treatment and six months for following up and checking on patients’ progress.
Sunday was originally supposed to be the day the military announced that people had been cured by the device. Atti’s invention, which he called “the greatest scientific breakthrough ever” seems incomplete.
The invention received criticism shortly after the first announcement in February. Essam Hegy, a former presidential scientific advisor, said, “[The CCD] harms the image of scientists and science in Egypt.” He added in his interview with Al-Watan newspaper that “it’s a scientific scandal for the nation.”
Dr. Gamal Shiha, a leading liver specialist and a member of a team evaluating the device, told CNN after the February announcement that the claim was “shocking” for him and his colleagues.
“Nothing scientifically relevant has been said,” Shiha said.
Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C infection in the world, with 8 million people—roughly 10 percent of the population—living with the infection in 2008 according to health ministry figures. Al-Ahram has reported that in some parts of Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta, infection rates are as high as 20 percent.