Frequently Asked Questions
Download the TAC Treatment Project Frequently Asked Questions in PDF format here.
Why must I still donate after Government announced its intention to provide antiretrovirals in the public health system?
Government estimated that half a million people need ARVs today. Fewer than one percent of these people have access to these medicines, and those that do, mostly in the private sector. Although Government has decided to develop an antiretroviral treatment plan, most communities will have to wait years before the phased rollout reaches them. We have a responsibility to help treat as many people as possible.
How does the Treatment Project choose who receives treatment among the millions of HIV-positive South Africans?
The Treatment Project is aware that the number of South Africans in need of antiretroviral treatment far exceeds its current capabilities. For this reason, a clear and transparent selection mechanism has been put in place. For members of the community treated through the TAC Treatment Project, public sites with the capacity to treat are selected and allocated treatment slots. The TAC TP insists on clear and fair selection criteria (including clinical criteria identical to its own), but does not itself select patients.
The activists whose treatment is administered by the TAC TP itself are selected after a screening process designed to identify those in greatest need. A wellness programme, which (among other things) provides CD4 counts and health-related counselling to TAC members provides the database of eligible candidates. Candidates are selected on the basis of three sets of criteria: (1) clinical criteria, (2) social criteria relating to a patients ability to benefit from treatment and (3) social criteria relating to organisational involvement.
How will saving 50 or 1000 people make a difference in South Africas HIV/AIDS epidemic?
Everyone has the right to life. By contributing to the TAC Treatment Project you are helping to realise this right for people on the programme, their families and communities. This sets an example to businesses, faith-based bodies and other civil society organisations. If all of us help save lives in this way, it makes the task of government easier and helps our society gain the upper hand in the fight against poverty and disease.
Furthermore, the TAC TPs use of affordable generic medicines and public healthcare facilities demonstrates the feasibility and affordability of making antiretroviral therapy available, not only in South Africa, but in all poor countries and communities.
How will the Treatment Project be sustainable?
The Treatment Project relies mostly on the donations of individuals who recognize important contribution antiretroviral makes to peoples lives. Antiretroviral therapy is a life-long treatment, therefore the TAC TP commits to treating each patient for at least five years. It manages its funds to ensure that it always has enough funding for three years of treatment before a patient is started on medicines. In order to ensure the sustainability of the programme, however, each contributor is requested to make a regular monthly contribution. You can also make an annual donation or even a single contribution. We appeal to everyone to make regular donations.
How can I be sure that money will be managed appropriately and spent on treatment?
While the TAC TP has a close relationship with the Treatment Action Campaign, it is organisationally and financially independent. It is a registered section 21 (non-profit) company and any funds raised by the TAC TP will be used solely for treatment and related support services. As with the TAC, the TAC TP will maintain the highest standards of financial control. Our books will be open to the public for scrutiny upon request and annual reports including audited financial statements will be published. The TAC TP auditors are Douglas and Velcich. Progress reports will also be made available to the public every 3 months. The TAC TP is run entirely on a non-profit basis and none of the directors, except the pharmacist, receive income from the project.
What is TAC?
The Treatment Project's parent organisation, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was launched on 10 December 1998, International Human Rights Day. Its main objective is to campaign for greater access to treatment for all South Africans, by raising public awareness and understanding about issues surrounding the availability, affordability and use of HIV treatments. TAC campaigns against the view that AIDS is a death sentence.
TAC's principal objectives are to:
- Ensure access to affordable and quality treatment for people with HIV/AIDS.
- Prevent and eliminate new HIV infections.
- Improve the affordability and quality of health-care access for all.
Please feel free to read more about TAC here.