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.

TB and HIV: Five interventions we need


A key advocacy issue that TAC will focus on going forward is TB. TB has historically been one of South Africa's largest health problems, especially in the mines and poor communities. This has been further exacerbated by the HIV epidemic. HIV-related TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa. Recorded TB deaths have increased from 25,640 in 1997 to 73,903 in 2005. Of particular concern is drug-resistant TB. We will be campaigning for the following five interventions:

  • Protection of isolated TB patients: Patients with drug-resistant TB who are isolated have their social grants cancelled. This frequently leaves their families out-of-pocket. It is one of the reasons why isolated patients resist isolation.
  • Earlier initiation of antiretroviral treatment for people with HIV:  It is estimated that antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of active TB by over 50%.
  • Isoniazid Prevention Therapy (IPT) for all HIV-positive people. It is estimated that IPT reduces the risk of TB by just under 70%. Together, IPT and antiretroviral treatment reduce the risk of TB by over 75%.
  • Improved Infection Control: There are many examples of how this can be done. A key example is this one: Many people contract TB, including drug-resistant TB, in health facilities. The Ubuntu Clinic in Khayelitsha has constructed an affordable waiting room that minimises this possibility. The Ubuntu waiting room should be replicated in TB facilities across the country.
  • Intensified Case Finding: HIV testing and TB screening should be offered together in more facilities. People with HIV should be actively given the opportunity to screen regularly for TB, as should family members of people with TB. A recent issue of Science describes an extraordinary programme of active contact-tracing in Tomsk, Russia, using community health workers and implemented by Partners in Health. We should learn from these models.

For more information, see these key TAC TB documents: