TAC Threatens Legal Action Against S. African Government Over Delay in Rollout of HIV/AIDS Treatment Program
March 17, 2004
The South African treatment advocacy group Treatment Action Campaign has given the South African government until the end of Wednesday to "speed up" procurement and delivery of antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS in the country or the group will file a lawsuit against the government, the Financial Times reports (Reed, Financial Times, 3/17). TAC on March 10 sent to South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang a letter saying that she had seven days to "authorize the immediate procurement" of antiretrovirals, the SAPA/Independent Online reports (SAPA/Independent Online, 3/16). The South African Cabinet in November 2003 approved a plan for a national HIV/AIDS treatment and care program, including the provision of antiretroviral drugs. The program aims to provide antiretroviral drugs to 1.2 million people -- or about 25% of the country's HIV-positive population -- by 2008. About 25% of South Africa's economically active individuals are HIV-positive, with about five million total HIV cases in the country. Dr. Nono Simelela, chief director of the Department of Health's HIV/AIDS program, last month said that no one had received treatment yet, and she was unsure when the first patients would receive the drugs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/10).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.