South Africa: Purple Ribbon for Rape Victims
August 21, 2003
A nationwide campaign to make antiretroviral drugs available for every rape survivor in South Africa kicked off Tuesday in Cape Town. Advocates called on supporters to wear a purple ribbon around their left wrist to show their support for making the drugs available to victims of the assaults. Government officials, academics, nongovernmental organization representatives and others gathered to discuss Section 21 of the Sexual Offenses Bill, which was originally drafted to guarantee appropriate treatment for rape survivors -- but was removed July 24. "Rape offenders can get any help, counseling and medical aid they want because the Bill of Rights guarantees that, but why is it [antiretroviral therapy] not guaranteed for survivors?" asked rape victim Charlene Smith. According to Johannesburg physician Adrienne Wulfsohn, rape survivors who have been given post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) within 72 hours of an assault are unlikely to become HIV-positive. If the removal of Section 21 was "about the costs then it is up to us members of parliament to be innovative and questions must be asked," said Inkatha Freedom Party representative Suzanne Vos.Adapted from:
08.20.03; Cape Argus (Cape Town)
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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.