Pan-African AIDS Treatment Movement Launched
On August 26, 2002, AIDS activists from 21 African countries announced the Pan-African HIV/AIDS Treatment Access Movement (PHATAM). They had met for three days in South Africa, during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Twelve AIDS, health, and religious organizations convened the PHATAM organizing meeting. The new group will focus primarily on treatment, including antiretrovirals, but will also work on prevention and other ways to control the epidemic.
From the PHATAM Declaration of Action, published August 25:
"Without treatment, the 28 million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) on our continent today will die predictable and avoidable deaths over the next decade. More than 2 million have died of HIV/AIDS in Africa just this year. This constitutes a crime against humanity. Governments, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and civil society must intervene without delay to prevent a holocaust against the poor. We must ensure access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as part of a comprehensive continuum of care for all people with HIV who need it. In this regard, at a minimum, we call for the immediate implementation of the World Health Organization goal to ensure antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for at least three million people in the developing world by 2005. Together with our international allies, we will hold governments, international agencies, donors and the private sector accountable to meet this target."
Three international action dates were announced:
- "A Global Day of Action on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria" on 9 October 2002 to demand more money from donor countries, prioritization of treatment in national proposals and funding decisions, increased transparency and monitoring of fund disbursements, and active involvement of PLWAs in Country Coordinating Mechanisms.
- "A Global Day of Action Against Coca-Cola, the largest private employer in Africa, and other multinationals on 17 October 2002 to demand ARV treatment for all HIV-positive workers and their families.
- "A Global Day for Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment on 1 December, World AIDS Day, 2002."
For more information see the Declaration of Action, which is available at www.tac.org.za. (Documents on this site are organized by date, and the Declaration of Action was added on September 3.)
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2002 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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