Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors demand AIDS drugs for women who have been raped

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 05 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1507
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

    A 3000 word article on rape written in clinical detail by the victim, Charlene Smith, a Johannesburg journalist, has catapulted the issue of the prophylactic treatment of AIDS in cases of rape into the political arena in South Africa.

    Her detailed account, published in the Mail & Guardian, a weekly newspaper, chronicled her attempts to get zidovudine, the GlaxoWellcome drug, from a local private hospital. She found it difficult to get private medical institutions to assist, even though she was insured and willing to pay; she also found that most state hospitals do not give the drug to women who have been raped.

    The publicity that she has given to the treatment of women who have been raped has found resonance among the public not only because of …

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