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A Letter to South Africa's President

January/February 2003

Dear President Mbeki,

It saddens our heart to hear that you have still not decided to let your people live. We who write this letter love you so much and you are a hero to us.

We are a small group of People Living With AIDS in Nigeria who would all have died a long time ago but our President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo gave us antiretrovirals and we are all living our normal lives. The medicines do a great wonder in the fight against AIDS. For example our friend Mr. Nasko: he was carried on a stretcher into the doctor's office and given these medicines; yesterday he took the stairs two at a time and came to visit us. He had returned to his job as small-time trader. So also Mr. Ambursa, he was taken for dead and wheeled into the doctor's office, but just six months after, he too is back at his job.

The medicines are so easy to take and have no side effects that have made any of us uncomfortable whatsoever.

About two hundred of us here in this poor, illiterate North of Nigeria are taking these medicines very easily. Just three in the morning and three in the evening. They are subsidized for us and we all can afford the 10 dollars every month that we are required to pay. Families have been reunited, even Lami and Rueben have got married. Lami wrote her will a few months before getting the medicines.

You are a good man, President Mbeki, just save the lives of your people and be the "Best Man."

Our best regards,
Samaila Garba
Kebbi Alliance Of Positive People (KAPOP)
Kebbi State, Nigeria

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This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. It is a part of the publication GMHC Treatment Issues. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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