Ketan Mukherjee, Top News (New Zealand), November 23, 2010
As per the officials and the health experts, some people in South Africa are taking marijuana along with the AIDS drugs and there have been stealing incidences, where AIDS drugs have been taken away from patients there to mix them with marijuana, so as to puff the mixture.
The blend of both the things is known as ‘whoonga’ and its incidences have been found in eastern KwaZulu-Natal, where AIDS is quite prevalent. But, there have been concerns that the addiction could spread to other parts of the country as well.
No evidences has been found about how the concoction is more effective in making a person high than the pot alone. It could just be the notion of smokers that mixing AIDS drugs with marijuana make them high.
There has also been skepticism that some of the drug dealers are selling whoonga mixture with soap powder and even with rat poison, just to propel more profits.
Such a conduct of drug dealers is an abuse to those suffering with HIV who are taking treatment for the same, as expressed by Lihle Dlamini of the Treatment Action Campaign.
Whoonga is marketed openly in eastern KwaZulu-Natal and is sold as the cream-colored powder at 20 rand (about $3) a smoke.