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Newsletters 2003

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TAC newsletters, documents and statements in 2003

10 December 2003

Competition Commission Settlement Agreements Secure Access to Affordable Life-Saving Antiretroviral Medicines

On TAC's 5th birthday, a victory for people living with HIV/AIDS and for public health - affordable medicines for millions of sub-Saharan Africans are much closer after landmark agreements were concluded and signed yesterday between pharmaceutical companies and AIDS activists.

Today, International Human Rights Day, is TAC's 5th birthday.
A History of TAC (pdf) TAC Annual Report for 2003 (pdf)

A few weeks ago the government revealed its operational ARV treatment plan. Now we celebrate five years of constant struggle with the announcement of a great victory for people living with HIV/AIDS and for public health - a momentous settlement agreement reached at the South African Competition Commission between pharmaceutical companies and AIDS activists.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), COSATU, CEPPWAWU, the AIDS Consortium, four people living with HIV/AIDS and four health-care workers have entered into settlement agreements with pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). In signing these agreements, AIDS activists have now concluded their complaint against GSK and BI. The terms of the agreements go well beyond what could conceivably have been won by pursuing the prosecution of the complaint under the Competition Act.

The effect of the agreements with GSK and BI is that the Clinton Foundation deal that was announced on 23 October 2003 can be implemented in South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries immediately. The Clinton Foundation deal has ensured that four generic companies will sell triple-drug antiretroviral therapy to governments in sub-Saharan Africa at US $140 per patient per year.

2 December 2003

TAC Responds to American Friends Service Committee Nobel Peace Prize Nomination

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has nominated the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and its chairperson Zackie Achmat for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

28 November 2003

TAC Activities Around World AIDS Day

20 November 2003

TAC WELCOMES CABINET ADOPTION OF TREATMENT PLAN - 'HOPE FOR MILLIONS'

On 19 November 2003, the government announced the adoption and details of the Operational Plan for Comprehensive Treatment and Care for HIV and AIDS. The plan envisages that "within a year, there will be at least one [antiretroviral] service point in every health district across the country, and within five years, one service point in every local municipality." [Cabinet Statement, 19 November 2003]. The plan also commits government to investing substantial finance into "upgrading our national healthcare system" via "recruitment of thouands of professionals and a very large training programme to ensure nurses, doctors, laboratory technicians, counsellors and other health workers have the knowledge and the skills to ensure safe, ethical and effective use of medicines." Government has also committed to a massive public education campaign, improved prevention efforts and improved treatment of opportunistic infections.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the Cabinet decision. This is a wonderful day for all in South Africa.

This newsletter also contains a very important letter to all TAC members and activists: "The way forward for the TAC"

13 November 2003
TAC Welcomes HIV Spending in Budget But Urges Cabinet to Release Operational Treatment Plan

11 November 2003
Joint NEHAWU, DENOSA, HOSPERSA Press Alert: Trade unions respon to crisis at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, "Our Church has AIDS" - Event to be lead by Archbishop Ndungane on 23 November in Stellenbosch

27 October 2003
Updated Q&A on patents, the Competition Commission complaint and reducing the prices of antiretroviral medicines

24 October 2003
Statement by the AIDS Law Project (ALP) on HIV/AIDS in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)

16 October 2003
Competition Commission Finds GSK and BI in Contravention of the Competition Act

8 October 2003

Editorial in the Sowetan (MS Word format) commenting on TAC winning the 2003 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award

6 October 2003
TAC Receives Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award at Ceremony in Johannesburg Tonight

2 October 2003
South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Aids Law Project (ALP) welcome Canada's commitment to ensuring access to medicines

2 October 2003

28 September 2003
GARPP and TAC Treatment Project Request Voluntary License from Boehringer Ingelheim

19 September

TAC hands over submission to antiretroviral operational plan task team. (Word Document) (Some of the annexures)

14 September 2003
MCC Affirms that Nevirapine is Safe and Effective for Mother-to-Child Transmission Prevention

8 September 2003

1 September 2003
Activist Pressure Results in AVBOB Changing its Discriminatory Policy Against People with HIV/AIDS

20 August 2003
New NEC Elected at the Second TAC National Congress

8 August 2003
TAC welcomes Cabinet statement committing to antiretroviral treatment rollout

31 July 2003
MCC Decision to Deregister Nevirapine for MTCTP is Disturbing and Confusing

17 July 2003
TAC Uitenhage Branch Holds Vigil for Sick Comrade

14 July 2003
TAC Releases Details of Government Costing Study

8 July 2003
TAC Terminates the Services of Mr. Onos Jude Imhanwa for Fraud and Sexual Harassment

1 July 2003
Where we stand with government, TAC National Congress, Star article on delays, Friends of TAC UK; To do: Building branches, Treatment literacy

26 June 2003
TAC Chair to address Elton John AIDS Foundation, Statement between SANAC and TAC, Memoranda to World Economic Forum and Sector Convenors of Growth and Development Summit

06 June 2003
Statement on Growth and Development Summit, Links to annual report, report on international day of action, ARV guidelines

06 June 2003
Health-Care Workers Campaign, Jonathan Mann Award, Response to Qunta

22 May 2003
NEC Decisions, Upcoming Events, Obituaries, Letter to SANAC, Response to Sowetan, Jonathan Mann, Sampie Terreblanche

05 May 2003
TAC Supports Launch of Health Care Workers' Conditions of Service Campaign 5-6 May 2003

29 April 2003
Urgent TAC Resolution

24 April 2003
International Day of Action: Memo to Ministers of Health and Trade and Industry

22 April 2003
International Solidarity Action and TAC Civil Disobedience on 24 April

17 April 2003
TAC leaders to be buried at open funerals on Saturday 19 April

16 April 2003
Government dithers while lives are lost

12 April 2003
Global fund, Statement by Doctors, HRC, CGE, M&G article by Achmat, Swaziland

09 April 2003
Edward Mabunda, TAC activist, poet and comrade dies of AIDS - A message from Edward - A statement from COSATU

This afternoon TAC activist and poet Edward Mabunda died of AIDS related illnesses.
This is a link to a message that Edward recorded shortly before hedied. largewav file, 600K

Here is the transcript.

08 April 2003
TAC Welcomes Namibia's Commitment to Treat People Living With HIV/AIDS - Denialism is the only explanation for SA's delay

07 April 2003
TAC calls for a Community Day of Action on 16 April 2003 - Followed by an International Day of Action on 24 April 2003

26 March 2003
TAC Civil Disobedience Campaign - What's Happened and What Will Happen - ALSO: Achmat Challenges Dugmore to a Debate

20 March 2003
Civil Disobedience Begins - Charges of Culpable Homicide Made Against Two Cabinet Ministers

19 March 2003
Excellent Statement by COSATU in Response to Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel

18 March 2003
Minister of Health Should Not Speak at HST Without Signing Treatment Plan, Q&A on Civil Disobedience

10 March 2003
Civil Disobedience Briefing, Review of 14 February March

28 February 2003
Government Misses Deadline for Signing NEDLAC Agreement

27 February 2003
TAC Response to Budget

24 February 2003
Putting the Record Straight: What Really Happened at NEDLAC

17 February 2003
TAC March and Memoranda

14 February 2003

March for HIV/AIDS Treatment - Cape Town Civic Centre, 14 February. Event begins at 11am. March begins at 12pm.

12 February 2003
Misunderstanding with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

11 February 2003
Details of March on 14 February 2003

5 February 2003
TAC Responds to Minister of Labour

4 February 2003
Stand up for our lives: March for HIV/AIDS treatment - allow poor countries to import generics

2 February 2003
11 days to the HIV Treatment March 14 February - What are you doing?

29 January 2003

March mobilisation, Statement on Bush Commitment, International Solidarity, Nedlac

12 January 2003
Volunteers needed to help organise and mobilise march for treatment in Cape Town on 14 February.