(South Africa) - Francisco Chimoio, head of the Catholic church in Mozambique, made headlines last week with his claim that European-made condoms are deliberately laced with the HIV virus. This sabotage, he says, was intended to wipe out "the African people". But these aren't just whacky comments that can be filed under "strange things that religious extremists say". Worryingly, some HIV conspiracy theorists are key political figures. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, South Africa's health minister, earned herself the moniker "Dr Beetroot" because of her promotion of garlic and beetroot as Aids remedies - she believes that anti-HIV drugs are toxic. Clearly she is following the party line, because President Thabo Mbeki has famously denied that the HIV virus is the sole cause of Aids.