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.

TAC Electronic Newsletter

11 April 2007

Today, various groups representing people with HIV will march to the Third Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health in Johannesburg. The march begins at 12pm at George Lee Park in Sandton. Contact Regis Mtutu for details on 084 310 8614.

We Will Not Go Back!

A statement of people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies

at the

Third Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health

Johannesburg, Africa
9-13 April 2007

Since people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies took to the streets in Durban, South Africa during the international AIDS conference in 2000, we have refused to be told that our lives are expendable and AIDS treatment is only for those who can afford to purchase antiretroviral therapy (ART).

We have made great strides together in these past seven years—hundreds of thousands of African men, women and children are now receiving ART and are living healthy and productive lives.

As our Ministers of Health meet this week in Johannesburg we are demanding that our governments keep the promises they made and specific targets they agreed to in Abuja in 2006 to universal access to a comprehensive package of AIDS treatment, prevention and care. These are commitments that have been endorsed by all heads of states-they have yet to be implemented.

We are concerned that the documents being considered at the African Health Ministers’ Summit this week give scant attention to AIDS treatment, and in particular ART. Even the Draft Implementation Plan for Achieving Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services, fails to mention the targets for treatment committed to in Abuja last year or outline specific steps for ensuring that all people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) who need treatment receive it by 2010.

We will not go back to the days when only the rich in our countries could afford antiretroviral therapy.

We will not go back to the days when HIV prevention was pitted against treatment instead of both interventions seen as mutually reinforcing and equally important.

We will not go back to the days when strengthening health systems was seen as a prerequisite for antiretroviral therapy instead of a critical way to galvanize communities to demand their right to health and build momentum for better primary care services.

We will not go back.

As people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies, we will work in collaboration and cooperation with our governments to ensure that:

As people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies we make the following demands of our Ministers of Health, our Presidents and parliaments:

As people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies, we believe treatment and prevention go hand in hand, and thus, we are demanding the following:

We also realize that the prevention of HIV, TB and malaria transmission require that the environment of risk in which many of us live is ameliorated, we thus demand the following:

A recognition of the rights of women and young girls is a fundamental part of our response to the AIDS epidemic and health in general in Africa. Thus, regional plans to address gender violence, the unequal legal, social and economic status of women and girls must be developed. Regional plans to address the substandard living conditions in which so many of us live, which put us at risk of HIV, TB and malaria.

Both AIDS treatment and prevention depend on strengthening our health systems, but AIDS is an emergency that needs an extraordinary response. We believe that rapid scale-up of AIDS services need not compromise health systems and AIDS can be the engine of strengthening primary medical care in Africa--we thus make the following demands:

The leaders of the G-8 countries, which support a large proportion of health efforts on the continent, are meeting later this year in Germany. Our Ministers and Presidents must ask the G-8 countries now to provide long-term, sustainable, coordinated support for all of the efforts we describe above. Our countries must also meet the 15% target for national spending on health that they agreed to in 2001.

Finally, the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe deserves special mention as it is also a health crisis for Africa. People living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe cannot obtain the care they need and the climate of violence is perpetuating the epidemics of HIV and TB. The shockwaves from the crisis in Zimbabwe are reverberating throughout the continent as refugees seek health care and other services in neighboring countries. Our health ministers must speak out on Zimbabwe on health and humanitarian grounds.

The humanitarian crises in Somalia and Sudan and elsewhere on the continent should be considered health crises as well and need to be addressed by our ministers.

The African Union must establish a functional mechanism that will facilitate an integrated, comprehensive and rights-based approach to combating HIV/AIDS and providing essential health services to all who need them.

We will not go back.

We will not be silent.

We will hold you to your promises.

We will hold you accountable.

We will be watching you.

Endorsed by (list in formation):

AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA)
AIDS Law Project (ALP)
Ghana AIDS Treatment Access Group (GATAG)
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
Mozambican Treatment Access Movement (MATRAM)
Network of Zimbabwean Positive Women (NZPW+)
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)
Pan African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM)
Prevention, Intervention et Lutte contre le SIDA (PILS) Mauritius
Southern African Treatment Access Movement (SATAMO)
Swaziland Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (SWANEPWA)
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC)
Zimbabwe Activists Against HIV/AIDS (ZAHA)
Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (ZNNP+)