Religious Leaders Back Ndungane Attack on South Africa over HIV/AIDS Drug
January 29, 2002
Religious leaders have backed the archbishop of Cape Town's attack on the government for not providing antiretroviral drugs to pregnant women and rape victims. Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, speaking at the opening of a new HIV research unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg on Friday, said the government was "accountable to God" for its handling of the AIDS crisis. The secretary of the Muslim Judicial Council, Sheikh Achmat Sedick, said if the government knew nevirapine saved lives and still did not provide it, then its actions were "tantamount to murder." Errol Naidoo, minister of His People Church in Cape Town, said, "While promiscuity promotes HIV/AIDS, a child should not have to suffer as a result of his mother's promiscuous behavior." Rabbi Ruben Suiza, registrar of the Jewish Ecclesiastical Court in Cape Town, also spoke out: "If there is enough evidence -- and there does appear to be enough evidence -- that antiretrovirals work, then we are obliged to persuade the government to help with the survival of our people."Adapted from:
Africa News Service
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.