South Africa AIDS Activists Give Government Ultimatum
February 6, 2003
The South African government has until the end of February to announce a comprehensive AIDS treatment plan or face a civil disobedience campaign by AIDS activists. Giving no details of what the campaign would involve, the leading AIDS lobby group Treatment Action Campaign said Tuesday that more than 200,000 people would die of HIV/AIDS in 2003 without treatment. TAC leader Zachie Achmat told reporters TAC and its allies have long appealed to the government to draft a treatment and prevention plan to "ensure that our people get treated and that we save lives." TAC has also scheduled a protest march for February 14 to coincide with President Thabo Mbeki's official opening of parliament. Supported by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, gay and lesbian and church groups, TAC led a successful campaign against the government in 2002, forcing the provision of antiretroviral drugs to pregnant women. In the past, Mbeki's government has resisted providing antiretroviral drugs to public hospitals, saying that they are expensive, unproven and toxic.Adapted from:
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.