AIDS Treatment and Human Rights in Context by Peris S. Jones (auth.)

By Peris S. Jones (auth.)

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The patient, and potential patient, is, after all, embedded in a web of complex social relations governing access and use of treatment. In a similar vein, I have deliberately chosen to be up-front about adherence figures in the case study subject area of the book. This is in order to challenge what it is we think treatment programs should be doing, to divert focus from adherence levels per se. I did not want to write a case study of important contextual issues only for it to culminate in rendering adherence as the key measure of success and failure.

Both he and the Traditional Healers’ Organisation were indicted by the Cape High Court for making statements alleging improper connections, again, between the TAC and, in what is a recurring pattern, the pharmaceutical 38 O AIDS Treatment and Human Rights in Context industry, whose interests they said the TAC represented. The minister of health has sought to build alliances with more compliant civil society organizations, such as the National Association of People with AIDS, in order to sideline those more critical of government’s response to the epidemic.

In particular, the chemical warfare program of the late apartheid era provided fertile ground for conspiracy theories to flourish. Evidence emerged in the 1990s that this program had been used to kill and maim black opposition figures. AIDS itself became associated with similar racial motivations, allegedly to reduce the black population. And AIDS prevention was therefore considered to be about controlling black sexuality and reproduction for sinister ends. 2 While these experiences are particularly painful and acute, it is important to note that such interpretations of the epidemic are far from confined to South Africa.

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