South African Court Hears Plea for Free ARVs for HIV-Positive Prisoners
May 30, 2006
Today, the South African High Court in Durban will hear an appeal from 13 HIV-positive prisoners who say a series of bureaucratic hurdles are preventing them from accessing free antiretroviral treatment in line with a government plan launched in 2003. The legal move follows stalled talks between jail officials and the prisoners, who have been assisted by the AIDS Law Project and Treatment Action Campaign. The plaintiffs, said their lawyer Andrea Gabriel, are "by definition, seriously ill." "All of them have CD4 counts of less than 200 ... which means that they have a severely compromised immune system," she said. "All of them have shown opportunistic infections." According to ALP, 78 prisoners at the Westville jail have died of AIDS since 2005.
Agence France Presse
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.