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Africa Activism: Money for AIDS Not for War; South Africa Antiretrovirals

April 4, 2003

Africa Action: Money for AIDS, Not for War

Africa Action, based in Washington D.C., is seeking organizational endorsements for its call to give priority to the global AIDS epidemic, which will kill 3,000,000 people in the coming year. From the statement:

"AIDS is an urgent wake-up call to a deeper crisis in the state of the world. The huge global inequalities that fuel this pandemic are de-stabilizing and they are deadly. Only racism has allowed the loss of so many lives to AIDS. Fighting a war against AIDS is the most important positive step toward building a stable future for everyone."

The full statement and endorsement information are at: http://php.africaaction.org/action/moneyaids.php.


South Africa: Activists Call for Global Support in Campaign for Antiretrovirals

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and hundreds of AIDS activists in South Africa have called for international support for a new civil disobedience campaign to get their government to provide antiretroviral treatment for HIV, which is killing 600 people a day in that country. The government does not want to offer treatment because of the cost. Antiretrovirals on the private market are completely out of reach of the great majority of citizens. As a result, the average life expectancy of black South Africans in Cape Town is expected to be reduced to 40 years.

TAC has prepared documents charging the Minister of Health and Minister of Finance with homicide, and asked the police to arrest the ministers. In Durban, police used water cannons and other violence to disperse a protest, sending several TAC members to the hospital. In other cities protests occurred without incident.

"We cannot wait any longer for a visible and dynamic response from the government, business and international community. We do not need any more reports to tell us what we already know -- HIV/AIDS is killing 600 people a day in this country and ruining lives and hopes. But with will and commitment this does not have to happen. With leadership from business and government, together with labour and communities, it is still possible to save lives and restore hope."

International supporters can fax or phone the South African embassy or consulate. Also, international demonstrations in support may take place April 24 and/or April 27. For background, see the TAC site, www.tac.org.za/. For U.S. specifics, see the Health Gap site, www.healthgap.org/.


ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2003 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.


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