Treatment Action Campaign in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

Posted 29 November 2023 by NISC under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of AIDS Research
Treatment Action Campaign in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

Led by Zackie Achmat, The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) emerged as a protest campaign against the lack of access to treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa in 1998.

In the 2000s, TAC evolved into one of the most successful social movements in post-apartheid South Africa and won significant gains for people living with HIV, including a commitment by the South African government to provide anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in the public sector.  

A paper published in African Journal of AIDS Research by Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Ngwi N.T. Mulu titled: Practices of health citizenship in South Africa: a case study of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, examines TAC’s evolution and attrition as a social movement organization to discern its implications for practices of health citizenship at the grassroots level. 

This paper argues that despite the significance of the strategies employed by the TAC-led South African AIDS movement in shaping HIV/AIDS policy in South Africa, the TAC is now, more than two decades later, in a stage of decline. 

Its demise has negatively affected health citizenship practices embedded at the grassroots level.  This is important because grassroots activist organisations such as the TAC have a long history of holding the state accountable for delivering public healthcare services and promoting health-seeking behaviour in vulnerable communities in South Africa. 

The paper is organized in discussion of:

1) Definition of health citizenship as used in this context; 2) Discussion about the life cycle of social movements to understand the evolution of the TAC over the past two decades; 3) Description of the research methodology, data collection tools, as well as ethical considerations used in this study; and 4) Presentation and discussion of the findings on practices of health citizenship in TAC-led AIDS activism in Khayelitsha between 2008 and 2016.  

This paper is available to read at no cost until the end of February 2024 here. 


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