SABC News, Another feather added to Zackie Achmat's cap, 1 August 2004

The National Press Club in Pretoria has awarded Zackie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) with its Newsmaker of the Year Award for 2003.

The Aids activist received this award for the key role he had played in the TAC's successful campaigns for the roll-out of anti-retroviral drugs, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and for the treatment of people with HIV/Aids.

Achmat has become a household name for his continued efforts to help HIV/Aids sufferers fight this dreaded disease. The Newsmaker of the Year Award given to him last night was one of many accolades in the national and international arena. Achmat and the TAC have been nominated for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and he featured as one of 35 heroes of 2003 in Time Magazine.

Efforts by the TAC and Achmat have led to dramatic reductions in the price of anti-retrovirals through voluntary price cuts by pharmaceutical companies. The TAC's use of legal and moral arguments also led to South Africa importing cheaper generics of Aids drugs. This victory raised hope for millions of Aids sufferers to finally gain access to drugs that could prolong their lives.




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