MARIETTA, Ga. — Former Georgia Gov. Lester G. Maddox jubilantly declared Tuesday that he does not have AIDS, the deadly disease that he was exposed to through treatments at a cancer clinic in the Bahamas.
Maddox, 69, once a symbol of Southern segregation, made the announcement at his Marietta home. "I have absolutely no problems," Maddox said, holding his arms above his head in a sign of victory. "My immune system is intact. Today I got the answer, and there is no sign of the virus."
The former governor had been a patient at the Immunology Researching Center for treatment of cancer of the prostate, which he said is in remission. The facility, closed in July by the Bahamian government, recommended injections of a blood-derived substance that purportedly would strengthen the immune system.
After Maddox learned last month that some of the treatments contained acquired immune deficiency syndrome antibodies, he sent his serum to Emory University for tests. The results showed the presence of the hepatitis B virus and of AIDS antibodies. Further tests were recommended, and he stopped using the substance.
Maddox has insisted that the Bahamas treatments saved his life.