Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has once again made outspoken remarks about HIV and is repeating claims that he can treat the virus with herbs.

Mr Jammeh first announced that he had found a natural remedy to ‘cure’ HIV in 2007, and caused anger among Western medical experts who argued that he was giving false hope to those with the virus.

According to Reuters, last weekend, Mr Jammeh told Gambian state television: “Just as the Prophet Mohammed prevailed and established Islam [...] I also prevailed to cure HIV/AIDS to the point that 68 are being discharged today”.

Mr Jammeh also said his government would fully integrate “natural medicine” to all of the country’s hospitals, to complement Western medical techniques.

The World Health Organisation and the United Nations have said Mr Jammeh’s treatment advice is dangerous mainly because patients are required to cease anti-retroviral medication.

In February of this year, Mr Jammeh said gay rights were a “great mistake” for Africa and that “human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date”.

Mr Jammeh has ruled Gambia since a military coup in 1994.

In 2008, he was strongly criticised by EU officials after he vowed to introduce laws stricter than those in Iran, where gay acts between men are punishable by death.

The president retracted a threat to decapitate gay people in Gambia, but said they would be driven out of their homes.

Same-sex activity in the country is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

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