SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome the results of the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEX) trial. Published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the study is the first to establish that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – taking antiretroviral (ARV) medicines before sex – reduces the risk of HIV infection. It follows closely on the heels of the CAPRISA 004 trial, which demonstrated that the use of tenofovir 1% gel reduced the risk of HIV infection amongst women at increased risk.
The iPrEx trial enrolled 2499 men who have sex with men (MSM) at 11 sites across the world (including Cape Town). Half of the trial participants were randomly assigned to take a daily dose of two ARV medicines – tenofovir disproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine (FTC) – combined into a single pill. The other half, also randomly assigned, received a daily placebo. All received a comprehensive package of HIV prevention services, including regular HIV testing, risk-reduction counselling, condoms, and the treatment of symptomatic sexually transmitted infections.
Joint Action and Learning Initiative on National and Global Responsibilities for Health (JALI) is the beginning of a global coalition of civil society organisations and academia collaborating to challenge inequality in access to health care around the world and to develop strategies to promote and fulfill the human right to health. JALI’s ultimate goal is to develop and see implemented a Framework Convention on Global Health that will serve to guide all countries on their global responsibilities – both individually and collectively – to ensuring access to health care.
In a show of solidarity and to commemorate World AIDS Day, the Treatment Action Campaign, SECTION27, COSATU and others will be staging a protest on 1 December 2010 at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Chinese AIDS activist, Tian Xi and other Human Rights activists detained in China.
Date: 1 December 2010
Where: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 972 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, 0083, Pretoria
The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) held its fourth meeting on 12 November 2010. It brought together over 30 people from 10 organisations. The forum considered the Integrated Support Team reports, the antiretroviral tender and the future cost of antiretroviral treatment in the public health system. The forum also heard updates on events in the public health system in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Free State provinces. An update on the TAC/CEGAA community budget monitoring project was also presented.
The fourth Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) will take place tomorrow (Friday, 12 November 2010) in Johannesburg. The BEMF draws together individuals and organisations from civil society to focus attention on the state’s health budgeting and expenditure.