JOHANNESBURG, 1st DECEMBER 2014: The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marks World AIDS Day 2014 at an Activist’s Reunion in central Johannesburg. At 11am 150 leaders from HIV affected communities, law, entertainment, medicine, research and the media will come together. They come together to recall how, 10 years ago, people’s power broke political resistance to treatment for AIDS. In April 2004 an anti-retroviral treatment progamme started that has saved 2.5 million lives and prevented countless infections. It brought back health dignity and hope to people living with HIV, their friends and families. We salute the health workers, government leaders like Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and activists whose personal commitment made this possible.
Today we celebrate life!
A month ago TAC announced a campaign to raise R10 m (approximately $1m) through a popular appeal to people all over the world to donate to TAC. In that month we have run a Marathon, addressed meetings in New York and Brussels, and today one of our leaders will speak in the British parliament. We have reached out to tens of thousands of people, gone door-to-door in our communities, and appealed to global leaders in the fight against HIV to support us.
We have been humbled by the response! Hundreds of individual donations have been received, large and small. 60 world-class scientists and researchers, including Nobel Laureate and the discoverer of the Ebola virus, have joined together to pen an appeal to global donors.
There has been media about TAC and the unfinished agenda on HIV and TB every single day. Two people of with the greatest personal integrity in the world, Graca Machel and Archbishop Tutu have stepped forward personally to support TAC. Former UNAIDS Special Envoy to Africa, Stephen Lewis, has spoken out.
This is a song of hope!
We thank you all for this. We regard this as a vote of confidence in TAC. We see it as an instruction to continue the battle. But much more importantly we regard it as a pledge against complacency; a pledge not to leave the field in the struggle to overcome HIV when millions are still denied treatment; when hundreds of thousands still die; while TB still rages out of control; when women and children are still raped and brutalised. We regard it as a sign of your commitment to the response to HIV and TB, to social justice and equality.
So, today we appeal to you to use World AIDS day to rededicate yourself to the challenges that lie ahead. On the last day of our Global Appeal to Save Lives, Save TAC, make your personal contribution to support TAC.
- Tweet your reason for supporting us to #SaveTAC
- Make a donation at www.tac.org.za/donate
- Encourage two other friends to make a donation!
In return we pledge to use the next ten years to work tirelessly to save another three millions lives and to protect the gains we have made so far. We will build an organisation that is clean, transparent, frugal and a model for social justice activists working on health, HIV and TB the world over. We will work to build a better world, one that values and invests in systems that protect life, equality, dignity.
For media comment:
Mark Heywood – first Secretary of TAC, 083 634 8806
Vuyiseka Dubula – third General Secretary of TAC 0827633005
Anele Yawa – fourth and current General Secretary of TAC 0793281215