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.
As a section 21 not-for-profit company and a registered law clinic, the AIDS Law Project (ALP) seeks to develop, implement and use laws and policies to protect and advance the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. In so doing, it aims to ensure arights-based response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that it believes is best suited to reducing new HIV infections and minimising the negative social impact of AIDS. Part of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg from 1993 until 2006, the ALP – as an independent organisation – is now formerly associated with the Wits School of Law.
Apart from our obvious interest in this Charter as a provider of legal services, the AIDS Law Project has been centrally involved in broader efforts to expand access to justice. In February 2005, the ALP co-hosted a conference on improving access to legal services for people living with HIV.
Disability grants or antiretrovirals? A quandary for people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Article by Chloe Hardy and Marlise Richter published in the African Journal of AIDS Research Volume 5 (1) 2006.
According to the Department of Social Development, disability grants are available to adult South African citizens and permanent residents who are incapacitated and unable to work due to illness or disability.
A number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) have accessed disability grants once they have fulfilled the criteria set down by the Department of Social Development. Current government policies entitle PWAs, a least in theory, to access antiretroviral medications. Where PWAs have been able to access antiretroviral treatment (ART) through the government’s antiretroviral programme, this has led to an improvement in their health and subsequent disqualification for a disability grant.
The ALP and TAC strongly endorse the principles underpinning the key findings and proposals made in the Report. In particular,we support the Report’s promotion of the concept of Comprehensive Social Protection (CSP) which seeks to provide the basic means for all people living in the country to effectively participate and advance in social and economic life, and in turn to contribute to social and economic development, recognising that high levels of unemployment, extreme poverty and inequality are significant barriers to sustainable growth.