PRI’s ‘The World’ Profiles Treatment Action Campaign Chair Zackie Achmat
PRI's "The World" yesterday profiled Treatment Action Campaign Chair Zackie Achmat, who is HIV-positive but refuses to take antiretrovirals until the South African government makes the drugs available to everyone through the public health system. Achmat said that the South African government is "still not taking the epidemic seriously enough," adding, "If I have to die, I will. I don't have hesitation about that. But the intention of my stand is to bring public attention to the issue as well. ... And if the government doesn't do its job, I'm not the only one who will die publicly." South African Health Director-General Ayanda Nsaluba said that although the government plans to make the drugs "more available," their high cost remains an issue. PRI reports that Achmat's health is "seriously compromised," and without treatment, his chances of surviving another year are "about 50-50" (Kruger, "The World," PRI, 12/2). The full segment is available in RealPlayer Audio online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.