Mandela and Mbeki Meet to Discuss Provision of Antiretroviral Drugs for South Africans
Former South African President Nelson Mandela met with South African President Thabo Mbeki Thursday night to discuss the country's role in providing antiretroviral treatment to HIV-positive people, but the two parties agreed not to disclose what was said during the meeting, the South African Press Association reports. Mandela formally requested a meeting with Mbeki on the issue last Monday, following Mandela's meeting with Treatment Action Campaign Chair Zackie Achmat. Achmat, who is HIV-positive, is refusing to take antiretroviral drugs until they are made available to all South Africans who need them (South African Press Association, 8/2). Antiretroviral drugs are "freely available" to South Africans who have private medical insurance, including Achmat, but are not available in state hospitals, which treat most of the country's residents. The South African government has said that the drugs are too costly to give to all HIV-positive South Africans (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.