U.S. Quaker Organization Nominates Treatment Action Campaign, Zackie Achmat for 2004 Nobel Peace Prize
The U.S. Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee has nominated the South African AIDS treatment advocacy group Treatment Action Campaign and its chair Zackie Achmat for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, SAPA/Independent Online reports (SAPA/Independent Online, 12/2). Achmat, who is HIV-positive, had refused since 1999 to take antiretroviral treatment until all South Africans gained access to the drugs. With the government on the verge of announcing a national treatment plan, Achmat in August began treatment at the request of friends and colleagues and because of his ailing health (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/19). AFSC in a statement released Tuesday said that TAC has made a "significant contribution to the global struggle against AIDS," adding, "Through mass mobilization, civil disobedience, legal action, extraordinary personal sacrifice, and visionary leadership, Zackie Achmat and the TAC have helped to galvanize a global movement to provide hope and gain access to treatment for those with HIV and AIDS." Achmat said, "The gains made by the TAC have been due to the efforts of thousands of people. It is the organization as a whole that must be commended for the achievements thus far." TAC said that both it and Achmat were "deeply honored" by the nomination, according to SAPA/Independent Online (SAPA/Independent Online, 12/2).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.