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Dominican police
investigate psychiatrist who claimed he cured AIDS

Dominican police
investigate psychiatrist who claimed he cured AIDS

Dominican police shut down the laboratory of a prominent psychiatrist and former Santo Domingo mayor who claims he cured more than 50 people of AIDS by injecting them with an unknown substance, prosecutors said Thursday.

Police raided the lab of Jose Ramon Baez Acosta on Wednesday after receiving complaints from former patients, said Luisa Matos, a spokeswoman for the Santo Domingo province district attorney.

Investigators seized samples of the formula dubbed ''Uman TS,'' medical equipment, and two pigs and a donkey that Baez Acosta was apparently using for tests, Matos said.

Baez Acosta, who served as mayor of the Dominican capital in the mid 1960s, did not return phone calls to his office seeking comment. Last week he told the newspaper El Caribe he had cured 52 people of AIDS and that God revealed the treatment to him in a dream.

Pan American Health Organization representative Ana Cristina Nogueira said Thursday that public health officials should track down AIDS patients who may have been hurt by the serum or who stopped other treatments because they believed they were cured.

''Every now and then these people appear saying there is a cure,'' she told the Associated Press. ''It is difficult to control that when it goes out in a newspaper.''

Baez Acosta was not arrested or charged, but prosecutors are investigating with the aim of bringing him to trial, Matos said. Health officials ordered an immediate stop to the treatment.

At least 70,000 of the Dominican Republic's 9.2 million people have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The Caribbean has the second-highest infection rate of the disease outside of sub-Saharan Africa. (AP)

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