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USA/Africa: Mobilizing for the Right to Health
USA/Africa: Mobilizing for the Right to Health
Date distributed (ymd): 021120
Document reposted by Africa Action
Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information
service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa
Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American
Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for
Africa at http://www.africaaction.org
Issue Areas: +health+ +US Policy Focus
On the eve of World AIDS day, organizations in the U.S. are
mobilizing for a demonstration in Washington, DC on Tuesday,
November 26, along with a call-in day for others around the country
on the same day. Early next year President Bush will travel to
Africa. But administration sources indicate there will be no new
plan advanced to support efforts throughout the continent to fight
AIDS. Demonstrators in Washington will be demanding a reversal of
Bush administration policies of systematic neglect and disarmament
in face of global threats to human health. Africa Action is a
co-sponsor of this action, and is also actively involved in World
AIDS Day events in the San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, and
This posting contains (1) the call for the demonstration, and
information on buses from New York and Philadelphia. Africa Action
strongly encourages those who can make it to Washington to
participate in the demonstration; (2) information on calling,
faxing, or e-mailing a message to President Bush to coincide with
the demonstration and World AIDS Day, and (3) a brief article by
Danny Glover on HIV/AIDS and Africa's Poverty
A second posting also sent out today contains information on recent
actions to defend the right to health by the newly formed Treatment
Action Movement in Nigeria and the Treatment Action Campaign in
AFRICA ACTION NOTE: As of November 27, 2002, the Africa Action
office will be moving to a new address. We will be at 1634 Eye
Street, NW, Suite 810, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone, fax, email
address, and website will not change.
Pre-World AIDS Day Demonstration against Bush in Washington, DC
FIGHT AIDS, NOT ENDLESS WAR STATE OF EMERGENCY:
NOT ANOTHER YEAR OF DEADLY AIDS POLICIES
Tuesday, November 26, 2002 in Washington, DC
Meet at NOON at McPherson Square, 15th & Eye Street NW.
the White House.
(Free buses from New York City and Philadelphia).
DEMAND WHITE HOUSE ACTION AGAINST AIDS in the UNITED STATES &
Call distributed by Sharonann Lynch, email@example.com
ACT UP New York / Health GAP (Global Access Project)
Tel +1 212 674-9598; Mob +1 646 645-5225; http://www.healthgap.org
WE DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY
CODE RED: Not another year of deadly AIDS policies.
Code Red is the language the Bush Administration uses to portray a
severe threat of terrorist attack in the US. We declare a "Code
Red"--the Bush Administration's indifference to the global AIDS
crisis is a severe threat to the lives of 40 million people with
AIDS around the globe.
On November 13, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the HIV/AIDS
pandemic is "the biggest problem that we have on the face of the
earth today" and yet the priorities of the Bush Administration are
clear: trillions more for the war effort, and trillions in tax
cuts for the very rich. Meanwhile the fight against AIDS in the US
and in developing countries is neglected, and over 3 million
people, overwhelmingly people of color in poor countries, will die
this year alone because they lack access to appropriate care and
treatment, including antiretroviral therapy.
In the United States, there will continue to be more than 40,000
new HIV infections each year, predominantly in communities of
color, because basic public health programs like safe-sex education
and harm reduction programs including needle exchange programs are
frozen, cut or blocked.
The policies of the Bush administration mean hundreds of millions
of people will get infected with, and die from, HIV/AIDS.
We say: Not another year of federal AIDS policies that
- refuse to commit significant funds to the global battle against
HIV/AIDS in a time when treatment and prevention could stem the
escalating worldwide epidemicN
- kick people off AIDS drug assistance rolls throughout the USN
- block funds for needle exchangeN
- restrict AIDS education for youth to abstinence-onlyN
- flat-fund the Ryan White CARE Act and the Minority AIDS
Initiative despite growing numbers of people with HIV in need of
- force community organizations to cut services or to shut their
- assault AIDS organizations serving communities of color, youth
and gay men with vicious audits and intimidation tactics
On Tuesday, November 26, join us to declare CODE RED against the
threat of the Bush Administration.
- With one million infections, there are more people with HIV
in the US than ever before.
- The global epidemic is in its infancy, with today's 40
million infections expected to balloon to 100 million by 2010.
- Faced with a national and global disaster, President Bush is
a man with no plan ... except to starve domestic and international
AIDS programs of funds in order to pay for an endless war.
- Bush is dismantling the fight against AIDS in the US.
The victories that were fought and won by people with AIDS are
facing a rollback under this administration
- Bush has retreated from efforts to fight AIDS in poor countries.
Bush Administration officials claim they are leaders in the fight
against AIDS in poor countries when in actuality, they sabotage,
underfund, and curtail poor countries' efforts to stem the pandemic
abroad by bringing affordable AIDS treatment to the 36 million who
do not have sustainable access to medicines.
- Resources to keep people alive are going to war efforts that
The National Intelligence Council reports HIV/AIDS will cause a
"humanitarian catastrophe" in Russia, Nigeria, India and China, and
is likely to result in dramatic upheavals across Africa. And yet,
President Bush wants $396 billion for war in next year's federal
budget. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the war
against Iraq could cost anywhere from $9 to $13 billion dollars a
MONTH. Other agencies estimate the first 60 days of war will cost
Go to: http://www.healthgap.org/WAD.html
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Call: 215-833-4102 or 212-674-9598
Sponsoring Organizations include: ACT UP, Health Global Access
Project (GAP), African Services Committee, Africa Action, Housing
Works, NYC AIDS Housing Network. Over 300 organizations from every
continent have endorsed the call to action imploring Bush to
announce a global AIDS plan before the end of January.
For more information on the demonstration and the proposal for the
Presidential Global AIDS Initiative, go to
NYC BUS INFO
Free Buses to DC leave at 6 AM from various locations. Meals
provided. Donations welcome. To reserve your seat, call
212-674-9598, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Midtown: Columbus Circle at 59th Street. Take the A, B, C, D, 1,
9 to Columbus Circle. N, R, Q, W to 57th Street.
2) SoHo: Broadway & Houston. Take the F, S, V to B'way-Lafayette,
6 to Spring St., or N, R to Prince St.
3) Harlem: 125th St at 7th Ave/Adam Clayton Powell Blvd by the
Federal Plaza. Take the A, B, C, D to 125th St.
4) Brooklyn: 1 Hanson Place, corner of Flatbush Ave. Take the
2,3,4,5,Q. LIRR train to Atlantic or W,M,N,R train to Pacific or
2 blocks from C train to Lafayette St. right across from BAM.
PHILADELPHIA BUS INFO
Free Buses to DC leave at 8 AM from Broad and Walnut. To reserve
your seat, call 215-833-4102, email email@example.com
MOBILIZATION TO FIGHT AIDS IN THE U.S. AND WORLDWIDE: CALL
On the Eve of Thanksgiving and World AIDS Day, demand White House
action against AIDS, domestically and worldwide. Join the
Demonstration in Washington, DC on November 26 at noon. Buses
available from Philadelphia and New York.
Can't make it to the demonstration? CALL or EMAIL THE PRESIDENT! We
seek to flood the White House phone and email lines on November 26
in conjunction with the demonstration in DC, and again on December
2nd. Organize local groups for a call in / email day, tell others,
and call or email!
Phone number: 202-465-1111 or 202-456-1414
Fax number: 202-456-2461
"Hi. My name is XXX and I am with YYY. I am calling today to
implore President Bush to take the lead in a fight to stop the
global AIDS pandemic, especially in Africa. Millions of innocent
people are dying needless deaths. Individuals are suffering,
families are torn, and communities are broken. Entire countries are
being destabilized because of HIV/AIDS. The only moral response to
this crisis includes immediate political and financial leadership
by the United States, which would include a Presidential initiative
and an annual commitment of at least $3.5 billion for the United
Nations Global Fund to Fight AIDS."
Talking points/ text points:
1. Donate the Dollars!
Experts have detailed the costs of mounting a credible initiative
to control the global pandemic of AIDS, as well as tuberculosis and
malaria. At a minimum, $10 billion needs to be spent annually to
effectively deal with the current health crisis facing the world.
As we enjoy over 30% of the worlds wealth here in the United
States, it is only just that we allocate at least $3.5 million
annually help save lives.
2. Drop the Debt!
Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are spending more money on
servicing external debts than they are on health care or education.
Debt cancellation for impoverished nations facing an HIV/AIDS
crisis should support locally determined processes to ensure
resulting savings are re- channeled to social needs. Freeing
countries from the crushing burden of debt accumulated by passed
governments and discredited economic policies imposed by the IMF
and World Bank quickly frees up billions of dollars for health and
3. Treat the People
Ninety-five per cent of the 40 million people with HIV around the
world are too poor to buy the drugs that we have in the U.S. that
have been keeping people with AIDS alive and healthy and
productive. More than 8,000 people are dying needless deaths to
AIDS each day. I urge you to implement the World Health
Organization plan to get AIDS treatment to three million people
with HIV by 2005. Also, the White House must support competition
from generic drug manufacturers in order make medicine affordable
for those who need it most.
World Aids Day
1st December 2002
HIV/AIDS AND AFRICA'S POVERTY
There's a correlation between the extent of poverty and the
HIV/AIDS epidemic in a given society. The poorer a community is,
the higher the incidence of HIV/AIDS there. That's why fighting
HIV/AIDS requires a holistic approach that also addresses the
issues of poverty.
By Danny Glover
[Third World Network Features, Danny Glover has been a UNDP
Goodwill Ambassador since March 1998. The above article first
appeared in Choices magazine (UNDP, Vol. 11 No. 3, September
My fight against HIV/AIDS is a personal one. I have a brother who
is affected by the disease. As an artiste, I also have had numerous
friends and colleagues who have suffered from it and died.
As a result, I have learned about its path of destruction through
individuals into families and extending into communities, societies
and nations. I know about its obvious and not-so-obvious impact on
those it leaves behind. It was for these reasons that I decided two
years ago to focus a good portion of my work as UNDP's Goodwill
Ambassador on building a global movement to fight HIV/AIDS wherever
it surfaces and - particularly - in Africa, which has been hardest
The statistics are staggering. More than 40 million people today
live with HIV: nine out of 10 are in developing countries;
three-quarters of those afflicted live in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Botswana, children born today can expect to live to 36 years.
That's about half as long as they would have been able to live in
their country if AIDS did not exist. Thirteen million children have
lost either a mother or father or both parents to the pandemic
since its medical detection three decades ago.
Over the last two years, I have tried to learn as much as I can
about various aspects of HIV/AIDS in order to be a better
communicator to audiences worldwide that need to be awakened to the
damage it inflicts, and how they can protect themselves. Part of my
learning process has taken me to visit townships near Johannesburg
and Durban, South Africa - the global epicentre of the epidemic at
the time of the 13th International AIDS Conference in July 2000.
Along with UNDP Youth Emissary and Philadelphia 76er basketball
star Dikembe Mutombo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
other AIDS activists from around the world, I visited the unmarked
grave of Gugu Dlamini. She had been stoned to death by her
neighbours for having stated publicly that she was living with
Afterwards, we went to visit her township. People of all ages were
there to greet us. They lived in modest homes but shared whatever
they had. Children and adults from the neighbourhood came
clustering around the front door of our host's home to watch the
We were treated like kings, despite being surrounded by abject
poverty. A local entertainment group showed us how they were
getting information across to young people through pop songs and
dances. As I listened to the messages they were conveying, and saw
how hard people were trying to do it in such creative ways, I kept
asking myself: why has Africa been hit so hard?
There are some very obvious reasons. A disproportionate number of
the world's poorest countries are in Africa. As a result, there is
no money in them to build strong infrastructure to support
adequate, well-distributed healthcare systems. Even if, for
argument's sake, such infrastructure were in place, it would not be
long before it would disintegrate due to lack of funding to
Lack of money forces people to make unpleasant and sometimes
self-destructive choices in order to survive. For instance, should
I buy food for my wife and children or should I buy condoms?
Given that I have an illness requiring antibiotics, should I use
the available syringe that someone else has used, since I can't get
a clean one because the hospital supply has been depleted for
months? Should a 13-year-old child become a prostitute in order to
be able to support her younger siblings after their parents have
died of AIDS?
There is a correlation between the extent of poverty and the
HIV/AIDS epidemic in a given society. The poorer a community is,
the higher the incidence of HIV/AIDS there. The Centers for Disease
Control in the United States of America have documented this
phenomenon, particularly among the African-American and Latino
That's why fighting HIV/AIDS requires a holistic approach that also
addresses the issues of poverty. One dilemma feeds the other.
This material is being reposted for wider distribution by
Africa Action (incorporating the Africa Policy Information
Center, The Africa Fund, and the American Committee on Africa).
Africa Action's information services provide accessible
information and analysis in order to promote U.S. and
international policies toward Africa that advance economic,
political and social justice and the full spectrum of human rights.