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Counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs must be dealt with
2006-02-16

Some of the guests attending the lecture were from the left Prof Johan Henning (Dean:  UFS Faculty of Law), Dr Jayasuriya, Prof Voet du Plessis (Head: UFS Department of Mercantile Law) and Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector:  Student Affairs at the UFS).
Photo: Stephen Collett

Counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs must be dealt with

An international legal expert who has worked with various UN agencies has called on governments to deal quickly and decisively with people dealing in counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs.

The Vice-President of the Global Jurists Foundation and former head of the UNAIDS secretariat in Pakistan, Dr Dayanath Jayasuriya, was speaking at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

Delivering a guest lecture on HIV/ AIDS and human rights in developing countries, Dr Jayasuriya said counterfeit drugs were spreading at an alarming rate throughout the world.  He said that in particular counterfeit HIV / AIDS drugs contribute to the vulnerability of persons living with HIV / AIDS.

“Only a few countries have integrated anti-counterfeit drug provisions into national legislation on medicinal drugs” he said.
According to Dr Jayasuriya, the violation of the rights of people living with HIV / AIDS is continuing despite the fact that many governments have adopted various charters and declarations that are meant to guarantee the human rights of citizens.

He said these violations have included the brutal murder of persons with HIV / AIDS.

Other violations include verbal abuse and physical injuries through acts of torture; deprivation or denial of access to employment; medical facilities, including drugs; accommodation; food; social service benefits; insurance; custody of children, and so on.

“In recorded human history HIV / AIDS is by no means the first ever major public health epidemic to confront human kind. However, none of the other epidemics generated the same degree and intensity of human rights concerns,” Dr Jayasuriya said.