In the columns of the Bulletin of the French Association of Pharmacists (issue 333, April/May/June 1991, pp. 163-166), Professor Albert German, incumbent president of the French National Academy of Pharmacists, argues for a number of quite groundless theses on the human immunodeficiency virus which is the cause of AIDS. Among other unacceptable statements, he goes so far as to praise HIV as having “had the brilliant idea of attacking” homosexuals and drug addicts as priority targets. This leads him to point the finger at the latter as being responsible for the deaths of hemophiliacs and recipients of blood transfusions. Lastly, Professor German considers that it is pointless to combat the spread of HIV by promoting the use of condoms.

It t is with some astonishment that one hears such ignominious comments – which are profoundly offensive to those living with HIV/AIDS as well as those fighting this epidemic, and a particularly insidious encouragement to focus hate and discrimination on a disease which, on the contrary, calls for calm reasoning and solidarity – from the president of such a prestigious body as the National Academy of Pharmacists (and which is indeed officially recognized as an institution acting in the public interest) and, moreover, that they should appear in a publication which is the official organ of the profession.

Deeply scandalized, the signatories of the present press release hope that Professor German will come to see the sheer enormity of his remarks and issue a public apology. If he fails to do so, the entire profession of pharmacists would bring honour upon itself by denouncing his comments.

Françoise HERITIER-AUGE, President, National AIDS Council

Jean-Paul LEVY, Director, National AIDS Research Agency (ANRS)

Dominique CHARVET, Director, French Agency for the Fight against AIDS (AFLS).