South African government forced to give mothers antiretroviral drug

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 20 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:121
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. Johannesburg

    South Africa's Constitutional Court has ruled against the South African government in its fight with hundreds of state employed doctors and nurses and the Treatment Action Campaign over the provision of an antiretroviral drug to HIV positive pregnant women.

    The government has resisted making nevirapine available to thousands of poor women reliant on public health facilities. The drug helps reduce the transmission of HIV to the unborn infant. It is also cheap and easily administered.

    The court decided that the state's policy of providing a very limited number of women with the drug in 18 pilot sites was unconstitutional, as it …

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