South Africa Could Save Many Lives by Providing Nevirapine to HIV-Positive Pregnant Women, Editorial Says
South Africa's Constitutional Court may have saved many lives last week by enforcing an execution order issued by the Pretoria High Court compelling the government to provide nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women, a Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial states. "For years" President Thabo Mbeki has "contradict[ed] all that scientists know about AIDS, its cause and its treatment" by questioning the causal link between HIV and AIDS and the efficacy of antiretroviral drugs. "These are sad and ominous remarks coming from a leader once hailed as the hope of Africa's future," the editorial states, adding that by "refusing to join" the fight against HIV/AIDS, the South African government has become the "laughing stock of the world," according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. However, "no one is laughing, for the needless deaths of tens of thousands of infants every year is by no means a laughing matter," the editorial says. The execution order could change the situation in South Africa for the better, the Star Tribune concludes, calling the judgment "great news for the children of South Africa, and all who stand ready to welcome them" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 410).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.