Education And Debate

Strident, but essential: the voices of people with aids

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 22 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:888
  1. Peter Busse, executive committee member, NAPWAa
  1. a NAPWA South Africa PO Box 27262 Po Rhine Road 8050 Western Cape South Africa


    In the developed world the voices of advocacy groups for people infected with HIV have long been strident. This stridency arose from the behaviour of drug companies, which, together with physicians, were controlling access to, and knowledge about, antiretroviral treatments. Many such groups have a good understanding of the required protocols for drug trails and the available treatments which may prolong lives.

    In South Africa the community of people infected with HIV has yet to raise its strident voice. Its stand is largely tentative, unarticulated, and mostly ignored. As a member of NAPWA–the National Association of People Living With HIV/AIDS–I am part of the growing community of HIV infected people working to change this. I attended a meeting of the ethics committee chaired by Professor Cleaton-Jones at which a proposed trial protocol was being …

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