World

The Aids activists who took on big pharma

In the late 1990s cases of HIV/Aids soared in South Africa. By 1998 almost 3 million people were infected, and Aids was the country’s leading cause of death.

Yet anti-retroviral drugs were too expensive for all but the richest South Africans.

Activists began a long campaign for the right to import and use cheaper versions of the vital drugs.

Witness History spoke to Mark Heywood, one of the founders of the ‘Treatment Action Campaign’ about taking on both the major pharmaceutical companies and the South African government.

Witness History: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.


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