On Friday 16 March 2012 health workers, counselling organisations, activists and the National Department of Health met in Hillbrow to discuss how to improve HIV testing and counselling. The meeting was hosted by the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, the Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) is deeply concerned about reports of stock shortages of the essential antiretroviral medicine, tenofovir, in the public health system. Tenofovir is part of the standard regimen prescribed to people with HIV initiating antiretroviral treatment. It is a potent suppressor of HIV with an excellent side effect profile. It is a life-saving drug and one of the most important in the public health system.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) supports the national strike by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on Wednesday 7 March 2012 against e-tolling systems and exploitation by labour brokers.
The new National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB, 2012-2016 (NSP), like its predecessor, has a substantial M&E section. But despite its ambitious targets, there was poor M&E following the last NSP. At the time, the Department of Health lacked the will and staff to get M&E right.
An Open Letter to the Citizens of Europe from Nonkosi Khumalo, Chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa
"We are writing to you as people living with HIV/AIDS, who rely on access to affordable medicines to stay alive. We are writing you because your governments are pushing to limit our access to medicines through a Free Trade Agreement the EU is negotiating with India, which is the world’s largest producer of affordable generic medicines. This week, as the EU and India meet for a summit in Delhi, our lives hang in the balance as the two sides make trade-offs to come to an agreement. Don’t let your governments trade away our lives."
Most of the recipients of South Africa's Global Fund Round 6 grant have written an open letter to health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on the delay of grant payments. The recipients have asked the Minister to intervene and avoid imminent closure of life-saving programmes.
Members of MSF-SA, TAC, Section 27 and He-Tic will picket at the Consulate General of India this Wednesday, 8th February to voice their concerns about the anti-public health policies being pushed on India by the European Union as part of a free trade agreement being discussed at the upcoming EU-India Summit in New Delhi on 10th February.
The Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27 have written a letter to the High Commissioner for India in South Africa requesting a meeting prior to the EU-India Summit which be held on 10 February 2012. The two organisations want to discuss provisions for the scale up of intellectual property, pushed by the European Union, in the impending EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the impact of these provisions on the health of people across the developing world.
South Africa’s Patents Act fails to make use of the pro-public health provisions included in the TRIPS agreement and reaffirmed in the Doha Declaration. This is highly problematic given the massive disease burden in South Africa and the continuing rise in healthcare costs.This briefing paper details the legislative amendments that South Africa can make (within its rights under the TRIPS agreement) to its Patents Act. These amendments will facilitate the use of flexibilities within TRIPS to protect health.