02 April 2009

Activists disrupt Aids conference

Aids activists disrupted the 4th South African Aids conference in Durban on Thursday.


Aids activists disrupted the 4th South African Aids conference in Durban on Thursday.

Security guards at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre and police had to form a barrier to prevent members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) from further interrupting proceedings.

"We are not happy with what is happening in this conference. Besides the fact that the conference is too academic, our voices as people living with Aids are not heard," said the TAC's Victor Lakey. Lakey is not listed as one of the official TAC spokespeople on the organisation's website.

Delegates failed to tackle rolling out antiretroviral drugs to all HIV-positive people who needed them, he charged.

Nothing gets done
"What is happening is that the same old declarations are rehashed and nothing gets done after these conferences have been held."

Police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said they would monitor the situation.

"Chaos was caused by a small group of TAC members and the situation is being managed by our members and staff from the centre."

The conference started on Monday. Health Minister Barbara Hogan was expected to address delegates at the event's close on Friday. – (Sapa)

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HIV/Aids Centre

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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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