On 1 December 2010, the world commemorated World AIDS Day, with special events taking place in almost every corner of the globe.
The South African History Archive (SAHA) supports all those who have taken a stand against the pandemic, which has taken on global proportions, with an estimated 33 million people living with HIV worldwide. There are an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV in South Africa alone. Despite this, only 55 per cent of HIV-positive people in South Africa receive antiretroviral (ARV) medication. Continued efforts are being made through medico-scientific, public health and human rights-based research and advocacy to find ways of further treating those who have contracted the incurable virus, as well as assisting those who have contracted the virus to access their fundamental human rights, including the right to health and dignity.
Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness about related high-risk behaviour, and the latent stigma that surrounds contracting the virus, the struggle against this global pandemic continues. Since December 1998, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was founded by community activists, under the leadership of Jack Lewis and Zackie Achmat. The TAC seeks to mobilise communities around issues of HIV/AIDS and access to treatment. The use of a combination of community-based activism and human-rights based legal strategies has largely characterized the activities of the TAC.
Learn more about the Treatment Action Campaign.
The first registered AIDS NGO in South Africa was the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA), which was established to act as an interface between donors, NGOs and community-based organisations working in the HIV/AIDS sector. AFSA coordinates these relationships, providing ongoing mentoring, technical support and capacity building, facilitating the establishment of relevant and effective interventions to improve health and wellbeing in communities.
Learn more about the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA)
SAHA Collections on HIV/AIDS and public health
AL3165 :: The Zackie Achmat, Jack Lewis and Treatment Action Campaign Political Papers
Zackie Achmat and Jack Lewis were anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s and 1990s in South Africa, working in the greater Cape Town area with trade unions and community-based health organizations. This, together with their GLBT activities, led to increased work on HIV/AIDS throughout the 1990s. In December 1998 both Jack and Zackie helped found Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). The TAC seeks to mobilise communities around issues of HIV/AIDS and access to treatment. The use of a combination of community-based activism and human-rights based legal strategies has largely characterized the activities of the TAC.
AL3182 :: The NAMDA Collection
The National Medical and Dental Association (NAMDA), an organised body of health care professionals, was established in 1982 to directly counter the effects of apartheid policies on the provision of health care services in South Africa. Records from affiliated or associated groups are also included in the collection, including: the Organisation for Appropriate Social Services in Southern Africa (OASSSA), the Health Workers' Association (HWA), the National Emergency Services Group (NESG), the National Progressive Primary Health Care Network (NPPHCN), the South African Health and Social Services Organisation (SAHSSO), the National Health and Unity Forum (NHUF), the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU), and the South African Health Workers' Congress (SAHWCO).