HIV-Positive Inmates in South African Prison To Receive Access To ARVs After Hunger Strike
HIV-positive inmates at Westville Prison in Durban, South Africa, will receive identification documents required to access antiretroviral drugs after holding a hunger strike earlier this year to advocate for access to the treatment, Tebogo Motseki, correctional services chief deputy commissioner, said on Wednesday, IRIN/AllAfrica.com reports (IRIN/AllAfrica.com, 5/11). More than 240 HIV-positive inmates held a three-day hunger strike at the prison in March in an effort to obtain antiretroviral therapy. Xolani Ncemu, chair of the prison's HIV/AIDS support group, said he and 241 other inmates launched the strike after months of negotiations with officials to resolve issues that have prevented some inmates from accessing treatment such as requiring identification documents. In response to the hunger strike, the department of correctional services in March agreed to establish a committee to address the issues surrounding the protest. Prison authorities also promised to provide HIV testing to prisoners, as well as access to antiretroviral drugs for those who need them (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/30). Motseki said the decision to provide ID cards ended extensive negotiations with the Department of Health and the Department of Home Affairs, Durban's Mercury reports (Daniels, Mercury, 5/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.