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South African Doctors in AIDS T-Shirt Protest

May 8, 2003

Some 300 South African doctors in private practice and state hospitals donned T-shirts Monday to support a call by the country's largest AIDS lobby group, Treatment Action Campaign, for antiretroviral treatment for people living with the disease. The shirts stated on the front, "Doctors support TAC," "HIV+" and "SAMA supports HIV treatment" on the back. Kgosi Letlape, chair of the South African Medical Association, a professional association representing two-thirds of all doctors in the country, said, "The campaign by members of SAMA is to show doctors' support for the Treatment Action Campaign and to highlight the plight of people living with the disease," Letlape said. "They are hiding behind a task team with the finance minister looking at the cost. That should take them half an hour, they are wasting time and playing Russian roulette with life in this country," Letlape said.

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