10th December is marked globally as an International Human Rights Day. On this day the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) celebrates its eleventh anniversary. We are celebrating 11 years of hard work to ensure that every person living with HIV has access to quality comprehensive prevention and treatment services to live a healthy life. It is befitting that on this day the TAC will be receiving the Human Rights Award of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation.
TAC is also carrying out a week of action as part of our birthday celebration and to sustain activism arould World AIDS Day. See the full list of activities attached.
International agency Oxfam today welcomed the prestigious Human Rights Award given to the South African HIV and AIDS organization the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung/ Foundation.
The TAC has been an Oxfam partner in South Africa for several years.
Oxfam ambassador and TAC supporter Annie Lennox said: "I am absolutely delighted that the TAC have been awarded the prestigious FES Human Rights Award 2009 for the extraordinary achievement they have accomplished so far."
Following on other important speeches in recent months, President Zuma’s World AIDS Day address reaffirmed government’s new-found commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS in an open, serious, and evidence-based manner. TAC welcomes the president’s call for people to get tested and his public admission of having taken HIV tests himself.
TAC messages for World Aids Day
“South Africa is taking responsibity”
Resources for health to meet the National Strategic Plan (2007-2011) targets: towards universal access to treatment now!
Click on the link to read TAC's statement and see events planned for World AIDS Day.
A goal of the HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011 (NSP) is to reduce new infections by half over the five-year period of the plan. Is it difficult to measure progress towards this goal because of a lack of reliable data on HIV incidence. Nevertheless, policy improvements around voluntary male medical circumcision and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) will significantly reduce new infections.
This is the first part of a two-part TAC policy brief. This part deals with voluntary male medical circumcision and the next one, which will be released in early 2010, deals with PMTCT.
Bishop Rubin Phillip’s statement on the detention of the Kennedy 13.
‘After their 6th inconclusive bail hearing today, it is now abundantly clear that the legal process for the Kennedy 13 is a complete travesty of justice… I am, tonight, issuing a call for the immediate release of the Kennedy Thirteen from prison on the grounds that justice has been delayed far beyond the point at which it was clear that it had been denied.’
Today a submission was delivered to President Barrack Obama from the Deans of leading Public Health and Medical Schools and other global health experts. The submission calls on the administration not to backtrack on AIDS in its new global health initiative.
‘We urge you to be bold and compassionate as we continue to accelerate the U.S. response to the global AIDS pandemic. Please use your leadership to encourage our allies from other wealthy nations to follow suit and to challenge the leaders of developing nations to increase their own spending on health programs to improve the lives of their own people. We stand ready to work with you on these critical public health and humanitarian efforts. The lives of millions of poor people living with or at risk of HIV infection hang in the balance.’
Activists call on African and global leaders to sustain HIV funding,
increase investments in health across the board and improve
transparency and accountability. See their statement here.
In 2001, Rian Malan wrote an article in Rolling Stone questioning the accuracy of HIV tests in order to disparage the evidence of a growing HIV epidemic in South Africa. In 2003 he published similar articles in the Spectator and Noseweek. All these articles were replete with errors. Nathan Geffen subsequently debunked the latter two in a January 2004 article.
One of Malan's errors was particularly serious. He presented miscalculated, massively understated estimates of AIDS deaths which he falsely attributed to Stats South Africa. As I wrote then, the mistake was so serious and obvious that it raised questions about Malan's basic competence as a research journalist -or more disturbingly- about his motives and integrity.
If there is to be a commission of inquiry into AIDS denialism, Malan should be questioned about his motives and actions.
On 2 November 2009, Statistics South Africa released the latest mortality data, which goes up to 2007 (Stats SA, 2009). You do not need to be a statistician to be astounded by this. Recorded deaths have increased over 90% in a decade. Improved death registration and population growth can account for only a small portion of this increase. The vast majority of additional deaths are due to the HIV epidemic. A huge body of evidence shows this. For example, there has been a three-fold increase in TB deaths over the same period and TB is the leading cause of death in people with HIV. Also the age pattern of the deaths --younger instead of older adults comprise the bulk of them-- and the drop in the median age of death from 51 in 1997 to 44 in 2007 are consistent with the way AIDS works