South African AIDS Advocates To Launch ‘Black Easter Campaign’ Demanding Free Antiretrovirals
The South African National Association of People Living With AIDS yesterday announced that it will intensify its efforts to convince pharmaceutical companies to provide free antiretroviral drugs in the country, USA Today reports (USA Today, 4/17). The "Black Easter Campaign," set to commence tonight at a vigil commemorating all who have died from or are living with HIV/AIDS, will include a demonstration outside the offices of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association in Guateng. If those demonstrations fail to convince the companies to provide the drugs, NAPWA said that it plans to begin a nationwide consumer boycott. "Our campaign will be much more ruthless and vigorous since the PMA and its affiliates have been responding negatively to our demands," Nkululeko Nxesi, national director of NAPWA, said, adding, "We feel that pharmaceutical companies did not honor their pledge to look at our demands and this is why we are intensifying our campaign" (South African Press Association, 4/16). Last year the group camped outside PMA's offices to draw attention to the disease (Associated Press, 4/16). NAPWA said that it feels that celebrating the Easter holiday "as if everything is normal in our country and in Africa at large" would be immoral (South African Press Association, 4/16). NAPWA is calling on churches, nongovernmental organizations and the general public to participate in the campaign (Associated Press, 4/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.