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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.
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) has upheld a complaint by the Treatment Action Campaign against an advertisement for fraudulent treatment for HIV which appeared in the Sowetan newspaper on 6 June 2008. You can download a copy of ASASA’s ruling here.
The advert in question, placed by Gogo’s Traditional Medicines (GTM), claimed inter alia that:
These products, marketed together as a package in five litre quantities, were advertised for sale “for only” R1500.
None of the claims made about the therapeutic efficacy of GMTs products are substantiated and there is no evidence that either Bantam or Pisces Tonics have ever been registered with the Medicines Control Council or that their safety, quality and efficacy have ever been established. They are most likely untested, unproven and potentially dangerous substances marketed by GTM for the sole purpose of exploiting people living with HIV for profit.
On 4 August 2008, TAC lodged a consumer complaint with ASASA against GTM on the grounds that the Sowetan advert from 6 June violated the ASASA’s Code of Advertising Practice which expressly prohibits dishonest, unsubstantiated, misleading and false advertising. Appendix F of the Code also prohibits the advertisement of products, treatments or advice for certain illnesses, including HIV, unless the recommendations made in the advertisement, “accord with a full product registration by the Medicines Control Council”.
Last week ASASA’s Directorate upheld TAC’s complaint. In its ruling, the Directorate ordered that:
ASASA’s ruling should send a strong message to the many quacks and charlatans who continue to promote fraudulent treatments and cures for HIV/AIDS - that their illegal and unethical marketing activities will not be tolerated.
We salute ASASA for its speedy and effective action and would furthermore like to extend our thanks to the concerned member of the public who brought the advertisement to our attention.
For comment or to report false or misleading advertisements for fraudulent medicines, cures or treatments aimed at exploiting people living with HIV/AIDS please contact Andrew Warlick on 021-422-1700 or at