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South Africa: AIDS Activists Intensify Campaign for Free Antiretroviral Drugs

April 18, 2003

South African AIDS activists vowed Wednesday to intensify their campaign against pharmaceutical companies that refuse to provide antiretrovirals at no cost. The National Association of People Living with AIDS launched its "Black Easter Campaign," which threatens to disrupt workflow at pharmaceutical companies, reported the South African Press Association. "Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to provide treatment for opportunistic infections and antiretroviral drugs," a statement by NAPWA said. The campaign will kick off with demonstrations at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association's offices in Johannesburg, and will escalate into a nationwide boycott should the company's response be unacceptable, said Nkululeko Nxesi, national director of NAPWA. Last Easter, group members camped outside the office of a pharmaceutical company to draw attention to their grievances. "We feel that pharmaceutical companies did not honor their pledge to look at our demands and this is why we are intensifying our campaign," Nxesi said.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press

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