Budget Advocacy in South Africa to Ensure Funding for HIV and AIDS Treatment
During the late 1990s, the South African government did not support the introduction of drug-based
prevention and HIV/AIDS treatment regimens due to their high costs. The Treatment Action Campaign
(TAC), an advocacy group run by people living with HIV and AIDS, used different strategies to convince the
government to change its position. Utilizing a combination of budget advocacy, litigation, and mobilization — sometimes simultaneously — TAC was able to convince the government to introduce a national program to prevent mother to child HIV transmission (PMTCT) through access to a short course of AZT (an antiretroviral drug). TAC subsequently worked with scientists and researchers to develop plans and policy proposals for a national anti-retroviral (ARV) program. In 2003, a national ARV program was approved by the cabinet, and in 2007 the government committed to spending US$6 billion on HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment between 2007 and 2012. This plan allowed for 1.6 million people to receive ARV treatment by 2011.