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TAC Electronic Newsletter

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 Contents

  • Long waiting list for antiretroviral treatment at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Durban

  • International AIDS Conference - 13 to 18 August, Toronto, Canada

    • PRESS ALERT: Press conference: 13 August, 15h00 - Developing world activists set out their objectives and demands

    • List of events that TAC, ALP, CHMT and ARASA are participating in

    • We request Toronto conference presenters to include this powerpoint slide (or similar) asking people to visit the www.aidstruth.org website. Do your share to stop AIDS denialism.

  • Understanding South Africa's HIV/AIDS statistics: A TAC briefing.

Long waiting list for antiretroviral treatment at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Durban

(Thanks to Sylvia Flynn for investigating and drafting this article. Thanks also to Lovisa Mbele, Deena Bosch and Linda Mafu for additional information.)

You get terribly sick. You do the sensible thing and it gives you hope: you get tested for HIV, find out you are HIV-positive, have a CD4 count which shows that you have AIDS and learn about antiretrovirals. But then your hope is shattered; you are placed on a waiting list that's almost a year long. Will you live long enough to access treatment? That's the situation over 1,000 people at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Durban face.

Mahatma Gandhi is a huge hospital, serving a vast population that is fed by six clinics. We were alerted to the long waiting list for treatment, but finding out precise details was extremely difficult. The hospital administration operates under the illusion that it is not obligated to share information with the public. Nevertheless, because of the persistance of TAC treatment literacy practitioner Lovisa Mbele, we were able to obtain critical facts.

The hospital's antiretroviral site has five nurses, seven counselors and two doctors. There are just over 900 people on treatment. The waiting list has over 1,300 people on it and the waiting period extends until July 2007. The feeder clinics should help decrease the hospital's workload, but they have not been accredited as antiretroviral sites and the government has not given reasons why this is the case.

The children's clinic was accredited in February and started treating in March. The clinic started by putting two children on treatment per week but this has since increased to six. A mere 72 children are on treatment.

The mother-to-child transmission prevention programme appears to be functional, albeit that it is using the sub-optimal single-dose nevirapine regimen. Statistics from May indicates that of 804 pregnant women, 345 tested HIV-positive and received Nevirapine.

TAC's Kwazulu-Natal office is mobilising a campaign to get the provincial government to resolve Mahatma Gandhi's long waiting list and to get the hospital's feeder sites accredited.

[END OF MAHATMA GANDHI ARTICLE]

TAC, ARASA, CHMT, ALP related events at the International AIDS Conference

Toronto Canada, 13-18 August 2006

PRESS ALERT: Developing world AIDS activists speak out

Date: 13 August 2006
Time: 15h00
Venue: Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1

All media are invited to a press conference shortly before the start of the Toronto International AIDS Conference. Activists from the developing world will describe their expectations, plans and demands for the world's largest HIV/AIDS conference.

Treatment Action Campaign, AIDS Law Project, Community Health Media Trust/Beat It! and the AIDS and Right Alliance for Southern Africa Participation at the International AIDS Conference

Saturday, 12 August 2006

Canadian AIDS Legal Network Satellite
Global networking for AIDS, law and human rights
Michaela Clayton, ARASA
8:30-17:00
Ontario Bar Association, 20 Toronto Street, Suite 200

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Developing Countries Consultation on Civil Society Leadership in HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention and Care
Co-sponsored by TAC, ALP and ARASA
9:00 - 14:00
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1
(Press conference @ 15h00)

HIV science and responsible journalism
Nathan Geffen, TAC
(This session will be webcast.)
10:00-12:15
Session Room 2-Conference Center

Monday, 14 August 2006

Controversy and Common Ground
Hot Topics in Human Rights and HIV/AIDS
Fatima Hassan, ALP
10:45 - 12:15
Session Room 3

Oral Abstract Session
Moving the agenda forward: Women's rights and HIV
Sipho Mthathi, TAC
14:15 - 15:45
Session Room 11

Skills building session
Enhancing Success in Scaling Up ART in Resource Limited Settings - The Role of Treatment Literacy
Ntombesizwe Nombasa Gxuluwe, TAC
14:15 - 17:45
Skills building room 5

Controversy and Common Ground
HIV testing in the era of treatment scale up
Mark Heywood, ALP
14:15 - 15:45
Session Room 3

University of Toronto Skills Building Workshop
Gender, sexuality & HIV/AIDS
Jonathan Berger, ALP
17:00 - 19:00
Flavelle House, Faculty of Law, U of T (Museum subway)

The Health Worker Crisis and AIDS
(Jointly hosted by Physicians for Human Rights and several other organisations including TAC and ALP)
18:00 - 20:30
Room 310, Metro Hall, 55 John Street

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Satellite Session
UNGASS: After the Political Declaration - where to from here?
Sipho Mthathi, TAC
07:00 - 08:30
Session Room 8

ANRS Symposium Satellite
New perspectives in prevention of HIV sexual transmission. From research to action in developing countries
Mark Heywood, ALP
18:00 - 20:00M
Skills Building Room 3

Satellite Session
LGBT Prevention Efforts in the Developing World
Jonathan Berger, ALP
18:00 - 20:00
Skills building room 11

Programme Activities
Premiere of Media, Message, Method
Siyayinqoba Beat-it!
Jack Lewis, Community Health Media Trust/Beat It!
19:30 - 21:30
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park Toronto, ON
at the Museum stop on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Bridging Session
Access to Treatment - People before Trade
Sipho Mthathi, TAC & Jonathan Berger, ALP
10:45 - 12:15
Session Room 1

Special Session
25 years of AIDS - reflecting back and looking forward
Gregg Gonsalves, ARASA
12:45 – 13:45
Session Room 1

Bridging Session
Human resources and HIV/AIDS: Advancing Health Workforce Capacity in delivering care, treatment and support
Mark Heywood, ALP
14:15 - 15:45
Session Room 3

Bridging Session
The Forgotten Epidemic: HIV/AIDS in Prisons
Jonathan Berger, ALP
16:15 - 17:45
Session Room 8

Satellite
Developing health literacy in resource-limited settings
Gregg Gonsalves, ARASA
18.00 - 20.00
Skills Building Room 2

HIV/AIDS and the Law: Canada and Beyond
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network / OSI
Mark Heywood, ALP
18.30 - 20.30
Donald Lamont Learning Centre, Law Society of Upper Canada, 130 Queen St, West Toronto

Thursday, 17 August 2006

Plenary Session
The price of inaction
Mark Heywood, ALP
8:45 - 10:15
Session Room 1

Hot Topics in Human Rights and HIV/AIDS
Getting the Balance Right: integrating HIV prevention and treatment programming
Fatima Hassan, ALP
10:45 - 12:15
Session Room 4

The Contribution of Human Rights Activists to Access to Treatment in South Africa
Fatima Hassan, ALP
10:45 - 12:15
Session Room 3

Oral Abstract Session
Time to Deliver: Influencing Policy and Law
Michaela Clayton, ARASA
11:00 - 12:30
Session Room 11

PLWHA Challenging Barriers to Accessing HIV Drugs
Fatima Hassan, ALP
14:15 - 15:45
Global Village

Satellite
HIV/AIDS in East Europe & Central Asia
Gregg Gonsalves, ARASA
14:15 - 15:45
Session Hall 2

Oral Abstract Session
Treatment Access, TRIPS and Trip-ups
Jonathan Berger, ALP and Gregg Gonsalves, ARASA
16:15 - 17:45
Session Room 4

Poster
Regional Partnerships for Universal Access
Michaela Clayton, ARASA
Poster Exhibition area, Level 800

Satellite Session
Intensifying HIV prevention – Leveraging the global community
Sipho Mthathi, TAC
18:00 - 20:00
Skills Building Room 1

Satellite
Community Preparedness for Effective HIV Treatment and Care: People Living with HIV/AIDS Leading the Way toward Universal Access
Gregg Gonsalves, ARASA & Vuyani Jacobs, CHMT/Beat It!
18:00 - 20:00
Skills Building Room 11

Friends of TAC Fundraising Event
Venue: "The Orbit Room" http://www.orbitroom.ca/orbit.htm
Acts include:
Jemini (female spoken word artists)
Unknown Mizery & Logikal Ethix, with Poor Man's Militia and ALI (hip-hop)
Door charge tbc.
Takes place in the evening

What do South Africa's AIDS statistics mean? A TAC briefing paper

By Nathan Geffen, 7 August 2006

On 21 July 2006, the Department of Health released the annual HIV and syphillis antenatal survey2. What does this survey show? Is it of any use? Is it true that the number of people with HIV is finally stablising? What do we really know about the the prevalence of HIV and the number of AIDS deaths?

TAC has been asked these and many similar questions. They are good questions and so this analysis will try to provide useful answers. But to do so, we really need to explain HIV/AIDS statistics in South Africa generally.

Contrary to popular belief the quality of South Africa's HIV/AIDS statistics are actually very good. From the available statistics we can estimate approximately how many people are infected with HIV and the minimum number of people who have died of AIDS. We also learn from the statistics who is most at risk of being infected, how serious prevalence rates in different provinces are, at what ages people are dying of AIDS and which opportunistic infections kill the most people. Read more ...

[END OF AIDS STATS]