23 January 2002

The impact of HIV/AIDS in the Sub-Sahara Africa in general and South Africa in particular is killing the ordinary citizens and that cannot be over emphasized. Infection rate is increasing and the people are dying at an alarming rate because of HIV/AIDS. It is sad that reports about people dying have become a daily occurrence. It is evident from various research reports that these otherwise unnecessary deaths are directly caused by the lack of treatment to ordinary citizens of our country with the most affect being those who cannot afford HIV/AIDS treatment. Antiretroviral Drugs still cost a fortune and only a small fraction of our population can afford them. It also becomes even worse when basic treatment for opportunistic infections that are curable is still beyond the reach of the majority of South Africans.

NAPWA has therefore correctly declared this year “A year of the turning point in the fight against HIV/AIDS”. We see this as an act that will assist in keeping eyebrows raised as people living with HIV and AIDS (PWA’s) become the torchbearers and leaders in the struggle for care, support and treatment. NAPWA will be embarking on a number of campaigns and programs that would ensure that our people do get access to treatment. We will therefore intensify our lobbying and advocacy program for access to affordable treatment.

The ever-increasing number of unnecessary deaths caused by the lack of access to treatment by PWA’s has led NAPWA to resolved on taking the initiative of the establishing a Treatment Trust Fund. The main objective of Treatment Trust Fund is to mobilize resources from those willing and caring to contribute towards buying HIV/AIDS treatment. The Trust Fund will also help those who cannot afford to access basic treatment of opportunistic infections that we believe are effective and reasonable to supply.

The National Office of NAPWA is currently busy finalizing the paper and ground work including legal issues involved. We believe that NAPWA has to stand up and provide direct help to people living with HIV/AIDS. As much as we acknowledge the fact that we cannot help everyone but half a loaf is better than no bread at all. We also realize that this is not going to be easy exercise, but we to do it because our people are dying. We therefore urge all those who believe in respect of human rights, better life for all and dignity to rally behind this mammoth task. This Trust Fund will provide an opportunity for all those people who want to practically, visible help PWA’s. We therefore call upon all those who want to help, irrespective of the amount to contact NAPWA at its National Office during working hours.

We also want to extend our words of gratitude to all those doctors who are currently contributing in paving the way forward by volunteering their services and expertise to NAPWA members countrywide.

Issued by

Nkululeko Nxesi
National Director
Mobile : 083 478 9462

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