CAIRO — An Egyptian army doctor's recent announcement that the country's military had developed devices that could detect HIV and cure AIDS and hepatitis C has caused a furor of disbelief rather than praise.
The physician, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdul Atti, said last week that 22 years of studies that were endorsed by Egypt's intelligence service as a "secret project" reached findings that would "revolutionize" the process of curing viruses.
The announcement at a news conference was accompanied by a short video that showed patients connected to machines. The demonstration also showed devices adapted from a bomb detector used by the army with an antenna that the army says can detect liver disease in patients sitting a few feet away.
According to the army, devices called C-Fast and I-Fast detect hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS through the use of electromagnetic waves. A patent filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization has already been made by the Egyptian Defense Ministry for C-Fast.
The army also identified a device that treats both viruses, as well as psoriasis, called Complete Cure Device.
The research, however, has not been published in any international medical papers or approved by global entities.
The lack of practical evidence prompted interim President Adly Mansour's scientific advisor, Essam Heggy, to criticize the army.
"An issue this sensitive, in my opinion, could damage the image of the state," Heggy told Al Watan newspaper.
Heggy said he believed that Mansour and Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi, who were at the news conference, had no knowledge of the medical announcement and were surprised.
Physician and medical talk show host Khaled Montaser also said he was skeptical of the announced curing methods.
"We have to follow the international scientific path by publishing these researches in scientific papers and demonstrating them at international medical conferences," Montaser wrote on his website.
The announcement was seen by many as an army attempt to win further political support in a country that has one of the world's highest hepatitis C infection rates.
Hassan is a special correspondent.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times