This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.

The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.

The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.

Campaigning for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS!

TAC Launches Litigation on Behalf of Persons Displaced by Xenophobic Violence in the Western Cape

TAC has launched a court action on behalf of people who have displaced by xenophobic violence. Papers for Hirsi and TAC v Provincial Government, City of Cape Town and Government of RSA were filed on Tuesday, 29 July 2008 in the High Court of South Africa, Cape of Good Hope Provincial Division. The court case seeks to address conditions in camps and safety sites housing displaced people in the Western Cape.

Govenment has stated that humanitarian aid will end on the 3rd September 2008. 5000 people remain displaced in consistently poor conditions.

In defence of rational AIDS activism: How the irrationality of Act Up Paris and others is risking the health of people with HIV

TAC Treasurer Nathan Geffen and ARASA's former Regional Treatment Literacy Coordinator Gregg Gonsalves have recently co-authored an article describing the irrational actions of Act Up-Paris and some other organisations in recent years. Geffen and Gonsalves argue that the irrationality of these groups threatens the development of new treatment and prevention technologies for people with HIV and undermines scientific research programmes in developing countries.

You can download a copy of the article here.

The article was recently published in the Autumn issue of the Journal of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. Please note that there might be slight editing differences between the version of the article available here and the published edition.


Report on displaced people in the Western Cape

TAC, the AIDS Law Project (ALP) and other civil society organisations have published a detailed report of conditions in the refugee camps and places of shelter for displaced people in the Western Cape. The report was completed on 18 July and updated on 21 July.

Download the report.

Letter from international health and human rights experts to Mbeki and Zuma on the need for a human rights approach to TB

TB photo

The group of eminent health and human rights experts write, "On the 3rd of July at the South African National Tuberculosis (TB) Conference in Durban, Mr. Thami Mseleku, Director General of the Department of Health, stated publicly that: “human rights are not relevant to the considerations of health policy in a developmental state”. As international health and human rights experts, we are extremely disturbed that someone holding such a central post with responsibility for health in South Africa would express such sentiment and display such a fundamental misunderstanding about human rights as a critical foundation of the health response in developing countries."

AIDS and human rights groups call on mining industry and SA government to address high rates of TB, HIV and other lung diseases

The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) issued a report today on tuberculosis (TB), the mining industry and migrant workers in the region, which raises urgent concerns about the failure of the South African government and mining companies to adequately address the health crisis among migrant workers in the South African mining sector.

Joint Press Statement from Civil Society: Update on Displaced Persons Crisis in Cape Town

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Since the 23rd of May, there have been thousands of displaced people living in camps and ‘safety’ sites around Cape Town. According to the Provincial Government as reported in the Cape Times on Friday 04 July, there are still more than 5 700 people staying at these sites. TAC estimates stand at 6171 displaced people.

ALP and TAC condemn attacks on Heywood by Mseleku and Mametja

The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) condemn the attacks on Mark Heywood by the Department of Health Director General, Thami Mseleku and the national DOH TB cluster manager, David Mametja.

Mseleku, speaking from the floor after a plenary presentation by Heywood, made a personal attack on the presentation, claiming that Heywood had merely swapped his slides from HIV to TB, and that ‘human rights were not relevant to considerations of health policy in a developmental state’.

Preventing, Diagnosing and Treating TB: A human rights approach

TAC has released two key position papers on TB.

"How does a preventable, curable disease become the leading cause of all natural deaths in SA, and the leading cause of all AIDS-related mortalities on our continent? Well, first we take drug-sensitive TB, a perfectly curable form of tuberculosis, and mismanage it for decades in health structures with poor infection control, weak diagnostic capacity, insufficient education on TB, inadequate resources and minimal political commitment. We observe substandard cure rates and increasing mortality figures. Over time, our poorly functioning TB programmes are manufacturing drug-resistant TB strains — the result of inadequate or incomplete TB treatment — but we don't worry about this too much until multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB explodes in our faces." -- Paula Akugizibwe, AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa

Kwazulu-Natal Health MEC continues witch-hunt of doctors and breaks National Health Act

 Unaccoutable Politician

  • Nkonyeni continues witch-hunt against Mark Blaylock and Colin Pfaff
  • National Health Act has been breached because Nkonyeni, her officials and the Kwazulu-Natal Treasury have:
    • Publicised private details of Dr Mark Blaylock's medical history.
    • Handed over original confidential patient records to a private company.
  • Nkonyeni fails to honour agreement with civil society to resolve conflict.

Kwazulu-Natal Province (KZN) is the epicentre of the South African HIV epidemic. Nearly 40% of pregnant women attending public health facilities in the province are HIV-positive. 16.5% of people over the age of two are infected (South African National HIV Survey, 2005). More than any other province it needs good political leadership on AIDS. But instead the province's MEC for Health, Peggy Nkonyeni, entertains AIDS denialism and is destroying health-care in the province.

TAC pickets outside UNHCR in Pretoria

On 2 July, TAC organised a picket outside of the United Nations building in Pretoria to demand a response to a memorandum handed over to the UNHCR by Gauteng civil society on 20 June 2008. The event was attended by 600 people, all of whom called on the UNHCR to intervene in the humanitarian crisis now facing South Africa.

The community leader from the refugee camp in Acasia highlighted of the plight of foreign nationals living in the camp. He spoke of the poor conditions in the camp and told people about the hunger strike they are currently on to protest being given outdated food - and even expired infant formula, dated 2003.

TAC's Secretary General Vuyiseka Dubula also spoke about civil society's frustration over the lack of response from the UNHCR after 12 days and the belief that the UNHCR is not interested in addressing the matters raised in the memorandum.

A representative of the UNHCR promised to address the memorandum promptly and admitted that he and his peers and seniors had not discussed the matter yet.

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