25 March 2004
Botswana Delegation that traveled to PATAM
At a recent Pan African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM) Meeting that took place from the March 3rd to 5th in Harare, participants agreed on strategies for the rapid scaling up of access to anti-retroviral treatment in Southern Africa.
The meeting combined treatment and human rights activists, physicians and People Living with HIV from the SADC region, including a delegation of six representatives from Botswana who traveled under the auspices of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA). While the public ARV programme is well underway in Botswana the general public, including many People Living with HIV, remain ignorant with regards to the details of the life prolonging medication prescribed as part of the programme.
The Botswana delegation therefore commits itself to initiate a treatment literacy campaign to increase knowledge of HIV treatment in cooperation with relevant institutions and organisations. At the same time it is crucial to support and further develop the existing regulatory framework and capacity in order to access safe anti-retroviral drugs at the lowest possible price.
BONELA and her partners therefore welcome the up-coming meeting on fixed-dose combination drug products that is co-hosted by the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, SADC, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services which will take place on 29th and 30th of March 2004 in Gaborone.
The discussion of fixed-dose combination drugs as an integral part of ARV therapy in Southern Africa is timely as these drugs allow for simplified AIDS treatment at low cost to the public health system. We support such therapy strategies as part of realizing the World Health Organisation’s goal of 3 million people on ARV treatment by 2005.
For any clarifications contact:
Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA)
Tel: 393 2516
Fax: 393 2517