Department of Evangelisation
Diocese of Johannesburg
South Africa

Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946

 
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Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Media Statement,

For Immediate Release, Tuesday 7th January 2003

Catholic Church appeals for Solutions

The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference AIDS Office supports the cause of the National Association of People living with AIDS (Napwa) in the calling of government and pharmaceutical companies to provide cheaper generic antiretrovirals to all people living with AIDS. Hunger strike, a form of protest action that South Africans thought was a thing of the past. Napwa’s hunger strike is part of their "Seven Days Black Christmas," protest aimed at pharmaceutical companies to provide antiretrovirals drugs free of charge.

The Declaration of Commitment (from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, June 2001, New York.) to which the South African Government was a signatory says, "By 2003, ensure that national strategies, supported by regional and international strategies, are developed […] to strengthen health-care systems and address factors affecting the provision of HIV-related drugs, including antiretroviral drugs, inter alia, affordability and pricing, including differential pricing, and technical and health-care system capacity […] (paragraph 55)

Pharmaceutical companies cannot continue to hold the government and private individuals to ransom on the costs of AIDS medication. According to the UNAIDS 2002 Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, the price of combination antiretrovirals have dropped significantly in certain countries where generic drugs and the broad application of differential pricing for AIDS drugs, based on country need and ability to pay. The Southern African region has the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS, some countries reaching as high as 40%. The South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference AIDS Office re-iterates the call made in the past, we call on the governments and pharmaceutical companies of the SADC region to speed up the implementation of clear and effective HIV/AIDS treatment strategies; and produce generics for free or subsidized distribution.

The SACBC is committed to extensive programmes for the care of people affected by HIV/AIDS.

For more information and comment please contact Anthony Ambrose or Sr Alison Munro at 012 323 6458

Issued by: S.A.C.B.C. AIDS Office Date: 07 - 01 - 2003

Ref: Anthony Ambrose 01/2003

KHANYA HOUSE, 140 VISAGIE STREET, PRETORIA. TEL: (012) 323-6458. FAX: (012) 326-6218

E-mail: sacbclib@wn.apc.org  / aambrose@sacbc.org.za 

 

 

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Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946
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