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[e-drug] Lancet on Pan-African HIV/AIDS Treatment Access Movement
- Subject: [e-drug] Lancet on Pan-African HIV/AIDS Treatment Access Movement
- From: Rachel_COHEN@msf.org
- Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2002 03:49:15 -0400 (EDT)
E-drug: Lancet on Pan-African HIV/AIDS Treatment Access Movement
Lancet 31 August 2002
Policy and people
New African movement for HIV/AIDS patients launched at Summit
African governments and multinational drug companies can expect
increased pressure for access to affordable antiretroviral treatment
following the launch of the Pan-African HIV/AIDS Treatment Access
Movement (PHATAM) on the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD) on Aug 22.
The movement, kickstarted by 70 African AIDS activists from 21
countries, will campaign for access to affordable HIV/AIDS treatment
as a fundamental part of care for people with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Milly Katana, PHATAM cofounder and a member of the Board of the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, said, "we are angry.
Our people are dying. We can no longer accept millions of needless
AIDS deaths simply because we are poor Africans. We know
antiretroviral treatment is feasible in our countries and are
launching a movement to demand treatment that won't take 'no' for an
Leading AIDS activist and PHATAM cofounder, Zackie Achmat, said the
summit "must recognise that without a healthy population we cannot
have development. Health is a prerequisite for sustainable
development-and access to AIDS treatment in Africa is the key to
A key role of the movement is to hold national governments and
international groups involved in providing HIV treatment accountable
for the development and implementation of national HIV/AIDS treatment
plans, he said.
PHATAM has called for African countries to implement the World Trade
Organisation's Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
agreement, which insists that wealthy nations allow countries with
limited drug manufacturing capacity to purchase low-cost, generic
versions of patented medicines.
"People with HIV/AIDS in Africa are fed up with the international
community's broken promises", said Eric Goemaere, head of mission for
M�decins Sans Fronti�res in South Africa, which is providing treatment
in Khayelitsha, a poor township in the Western Cape.
"They are tired of hearing about pilot projects. The time to scale-up
is long overdue and this will only be possible with political action
at the national and international level. This community-based movement
must provoke the necessary political response."
PHATAM is planning a Global Day of Protests on Oct 9 to demand that
donor countries make contributions proportionate to their wealth to
the Global Fund. This will be followed by a campaign targeting
multinational companies on Oct 17 demanding treatment for all
HIV-positive workers and their families.
Rachel M. Cohen
U.S. Advocacy Liaison
Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines
Doctors Without Borders/M�decins Sans Fronti�res (MSF)
6 East 39th Street, 8th Floor * New York, NY 10016 * USA
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