SANTO DOMINGO – A veteran Dominican doctor who claimed to have devised a cure for HIV/AIDS will face criminal charges for allegedly causing the death of at least 10 people and defrauding many others.
According to organizations involved in the battle against AIDS in the Dominican Republic, psychiatrist Ramon Baez caused physical harm to at least 50 people.
Baez, who made public his discovery last week through the local media, said that the medicine he uses to cure AIDS was revealed to him by God four years ago.
The doctor said he had cured 52 people. The Public Health Ministry immediately responded to Baez’s announcement Aug. 3, with authorities shutting down the laboratory where the physician produced the alleged cure. Charges were then brought against him by the government.
Health Minister Bautistas Rojas characterized Baez’s announcement as fraudulent and noted that the doctor produced the purported cure without the authorization of the Bioethics Department, and did not have an authorized pharmaceutical patent.
Meanwhile, in statements published Aug. 3 by the press, Danilda Soto, a defender of the rights of those suffering from HIV/AIDS, called on authorities to take more decisive action against Baez.
She noted that the doctor had said that even if his laboratory is closed down he will continue producing the medicine he says cures the deadly disease.
“Although we’re the ones most interested in a definitive cure for AIDS, we knew that what Dr. Baez (was doing) was a fraud,” Soto said, adding that she had alerted local authorities immediately after receiving the first complaints from people who had submitted themselves to his experiments.
According to data from the World Health Organization, 1% of the Dominican population is infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Official figures, meanwhile, indicate that at least 33,000 children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.