HIV/Aids

22 June 2006

SA prisoners win ARV battle

Westville Prison was ordered by the Durban High Court on Thursday to remove restrictions immediately that prevented prisoners from accessing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

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Westville Prison was ordered by the Durban High Court on Thursday to remove restrictions immediately that prevented prisoners from accessing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

Judge Thumba Pillay ordered prison authorities to provide ARV treatment for the 15 applicants in accordance with the prison's operational plan.

He further ordered that all other prisoners also requiring treatment should receive the treatment at an accredited public health facility.

TAC vs. prison authorities
Advocate Andrea Gabriel, representing the prisoners and the Treatment Action Campaign, had said that prison authorities were failing to meet treatment plans as the Westville Prison's appointment schedules allowed only one prisoner a day to receive pre-treatment counselling.

Four pre-treatment counselling sessions were necessary before the patients went on their treatment.

She said there were seven other accredited hospitals in the vicinity of the prison.

However only King Edward VIII Hospital was currently being used.

Westville Prison was also ordered to provide an affidavit to the TAC's attorneys and the registrar of the court setting out how it would comply with the court order.

The order was granted against the head of Westville Prison, the Minister of Correctional Services, the department's area commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal and both the provincial and national ministers of health. – (Sapa)

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HIV/Aids Centre

June 2006

 

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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