Edmonton Sun – Over the centuries, scientists who dared to challenge rulers of the day often found themselves in jail. Today, politicians who prefer ideology over truth just stick their fingers in their ears.

The key statement that emerged from last week’s International AIDS Conference was a declaration asking governments to base their drug policies on scientific evidence.

So far, about 14,000 people have signed the so called Vienna declaration, including Nobel Laureates, former heads of state, religious leaders and experts in science, medicine and law.

In Canada, five provincial medical officers of health and the Canadian Public Health Association have endorsed the statement. So have past presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, as well as the wife of the president of Georgia, the deputy chair of the Georgian parliament and that country’s minister of labour, health and social affairs. Georgia is one of the hardest hit countries in eastern Europe in terms of the spread of HIV.

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