“Die” for access to generic AIDS meds in the poorest of countries – it won’t kill you!


Over the lunch hour this coming Monday the Bill C-393 Student Coalition, along with members of AIDS ACTION NOW and other allies, will join in creative protest in support of vital legislation before Canada’s Parliament.

Bill C-393 is designed to reform CAMR (Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime), the legislation passed back in the dying days of the Paul Martin government which would ease patent restrictions on HIV/AIDS treatments so that the poorest of the poor in the world could have access to generic forms of some of the medicines which have worked so well, so far, for the rest of us.

Why hasn’t the Canadian government (and too many Opposition party members) supported C-393?  Oh, could it be the Big Pharma plants in their ridings?  (They’re the ones in the suburbs of Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere with conflicts-of-interest disguised as groomed landscapes that are the envy of golf courses.)

Bill C-393, a Private Members Bill that could finally facilitate access to low-cost generic drugs, with the support of 80% of Canadians, risks being abandoned in a vote in the House of Commons on Thursday, December 16th.

10 million people living with HIV/AIDS do not have access to live-saving anti-retroviral drugs. As I have said over the years, while I am grateful for all that these medications have done for me, I am no more (nor less) deserving of them than are those with the same treatable conditions anywhere else.

Don’t get me wrong -the medication regime is not a panacea to HIV infection but we know how well they can work in people who do become infected.

On Monday, “flash mob” participants, dressed in red, will lie down and “die” at regular intervals in the middle of the Yonge-Dundas “scramble” intersection to bring attention to the lives lost due to a lack of medicines. (I’ve been promised assistance in getting back up, if required.)

WHO?

This “die-in” flash mob is organized by a student coalition at the University of Toronto with the support of AIDS ACTION NOW!

HOW can you participate?

1. Meet at 11:45 a.m. at the gates of the University of Toronto on College Street for a walk together to Yonge-Dundas.

OR (for those of us coming from other directions)

2. Meet at Yonge-Dundas Square at 12:15 pm on the south-east corner of the intersection.

Questions? Email sahargolshan@hotmail.com for more information.

*Remember to WEAR RED and to dress WARMLY*

For more on Bill C-393: http://www.aidslaw.ca/EN/camr/index.htm

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=109405225799696

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