African AIDS Activists to Create ‘Pan-African’ Group to Lobby For Greater Access to Antiretroviral Treatment
AIDS activists from 20 African nations are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, to establish a "pan-African" advocacy group that will lobby governments and international institutions to expand access to antiretroviral treatment, Agence France-Presse reports. The new lobbying group is tentatively being called the Pan-African Treatment Access Movement. Zackie Achmat, head of the Treatment Action Campaign, a South African AIDS group, said that the new group will aim to "create a unified voice for treatment access that can be directed towards governments and inter-governmental institutions" such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and the World Trade Organization. The group plans to advocate WHO's recommendation that three million people receive antiretroviral treatment by 2005. According to Rachel Cohen, a spokesperson for Medecins Sans Frontieres, the group's first task will be to demand that HIV/AIDS be placed on the agenda of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is slated to begin next week in Johannesburg, South Africa (Agence France-Presse, 8/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.