The AIDS Time Line:
20 Years, 20 Drugs, 20 Million Deaths
No Cure in Sight
ACT UP KATHMANDU
GPO 8975, EPC 4114
contact: Rajiv Kafle
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)
is an international activist
group first formed in US in the mid 80s. We are a diverse,
nonpartisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to
direct action to end the AIDS crisis. We protest and demonstrate; we
meet with government and public health officials; we research and
distribute the latest medical information; we are not silent. ACT UP
Katmandu, chapter was started in April this year.
We cannot wait any longer for a visible
and dynamic response from the
government, business and international community. We do not need any
more reports to tell us what we already know - HIV/AIDS is infecting
30 people a day in this country and ruining lives and hopes. But with
will and commitment this does not have to happen. With leadership
from business and government, together with labor and communities, it
is still possible to save lives and restore hope.
In July 2002, WHO promised to scale up
access to treatment in
developing countries to 3 million people by 2005.
WHO treatment protocal suggests people with less than 200 CD4 cell
count as eligible for ARV therapy.
In Nepal there are at least 60 000 people living with HIV/AIDS and
even if 10% of them need to go for Antiretroviral Therapy the number
today will come to 6000 BUT due to lack of strong political will and
donor commitment none are receiving ARV therapy now and even having
the money to procure ARV drugs only 500 will be receiving in the
coming years after Nepal receives 4.4 million $ ( Rs. 33 corore) from
the Global Fund.
"We as people living with HIV/AIDS
have contributed a lot in fighting
this epidemic without asking any thing in return over the past years
but we are getting tired and falling sick now, we demand that the
state respond to our needs now and pay us back for our efforts and
keep us alive," says Anjan Amatya an AIDS activist.
Two weeks back when we launched ACT UP we had asked the government
and the donor community to come up at least with their position paper
on providing access to treatment including ARV therapy within a
month. We have not heard anything since then thus would like to
remind them that half way mark i