Toronto AIDS Conference Gives Activists Boost – Help Them Out
The recent International AIDS Conference in Toronto has given a boost to South Africans in the fight against the disease – a fight in which their own government, as the conference made clear, numbers among the enemies.
The South African government’s position on AIDS has been eccentric at the very best, and deeply harmful at worst. President Thabo Mbeki is an AIDS fence-sitter (some would say “denialist”), while the Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, is so far out in left field that she has achieved unique status as both an internal and international pariah. (She advocates a diet of garlic, beetroot, olive oil and other foodstuffs as a replacement for medicinal regimens like anti-retrovirals; she supports a crank vitamin peddler who says his pills can cure AIDS; and so on.)
Now the activists are getting tough – the Treatment Action Campaign in particular, which has embarked on civil disobediance in hopes of ruffling some feathers at the Health Ministry and getting Tshabalala-Msimang fired.
It would seem that it’s time for nailing of colors to masts. So allow me to say: Viva TAC Viva! Phantsi Tshabalala-Msimang Phantsi! She must go, and one way to help this happen is to rouse international pressure. Please send notes encouraging her firing to the Presidency:
And notes encouraging her resignation to the Health Ministry:
Last, please support the TAC, by visiting its website (where you can donate), or by joining its campaign – just send a note to StopSAGovtDenial@tac.org.za to get started.