UN AIDS programme criticizes South African police action at hospital protest

14 July 2005

Declaring police action during a protest by people living with HIV at a South African hospital “unacceptable,” the main United Nations body advocating global action on the pandemic warned today that violence against protesters threatens efforts to respond to AIDS.

The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) cited news reports that about 40 people were injured, one seriously, following a peaceful protest for HIV treatment at Frontier Hospital in Queenstown, Eastern Cape Province.

UNAIDS has long supported and will continue to support the freedom of assembly and association of people living with AIDS,” it said in a statement issued in Geneva.

“It is imperative for people living with HIV to be able to openly share information about the disease, to learn about options for treatment and to advocate for better care – including access to life-saving treatment,” it added.

“UNAIDS calls on leaders across the globe to ensure that people living with HIV are not deprived of these rights.”


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