Government asleep on HIV/AIDS - activists

SOUTH AFRICA: Government asleep on HIV/AIDS - activists

JOHANNESBURG, 17 Feb 2005 (PLUSNEWS) - More than 5,000 South African AIDS activists converged on parliament this week, demanding that 200,000 HIV-positive people gain access to free anti-AIDS drugs by the start of 2006.

The AIDS lobby group, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), handed over a memorandum to government, urging President Thabo Mbeki to "wake up" to the pandemic.

According to TAC, the government was far short of its target of having 53,000 people at 113 state-accredited health centres on antiretroviral therapy by March 2005.

Agence France-Presse quoted TAC chairman Zackie Achmat as saying: "We are proud of our 10 years of democracy, but if we want our next 10 years to be good, we need to wake up to HIV/AIDS."


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