The battle fought and won...

When Thabo Mbeki refused to acknowledge that HIV was the virus that led to AIDS and as a result chose not to follow global trends of administering a single shot of Nevirapine to HIV pregnant mothers in delivery, the Legendary TAC took the government on - and took them to court. This really was a story of David versus Goliath.
But we must start at the beginning.......

In the 90s, it was confirmed that HIV was transmitted from mother to child (MTCT) during pregnancy (low risk), natural delivery in labour (high risk), and breast feeding (low risk).
In fact, 70 000 children were getting the virus from their infected mother through the process of natural delivery.

A new  antiretroviral (ARV) drug called Nevirapine - was registered in Germany and was produced by a very successful pharmaceutical company called Boehringer Ingelheim. Scientists had proved that a single dose of the medication given to an HIV mother at birth and follow up drops to her new born baby could result in a 50 per cent decrease in transmitting the virus. This was earth shattering at the time and was potentially the miracle needed to prevent MTCT.

The only obstacle was Thabo Mbeki's inability to accept that this was the answer needed to tackle MTCT. He simply refused to accept the information at hand. In the following eight years of his presidency, Mbeki continued to express sympathy for HIV and AIDS denialism, and instituted alternate forms of therapy instead of ARVs.

The TAC, an organization formed in 1998 was a social movement formed to help people living with HIV and one of its objectives was access to
ARVs for all - rich and poor alike. For the TAC access to medication and good health care was a basic and fundamental human right.
It was an independent organization with no ties to the Pharmaceutical industry or to Government.   
It's co founder was a young activist Zackie Achmat. He was a gay man living with HIV. He refused as a matter of principle to take any ARVs as it was not easily accessible to the very people who needed it most - the poor.

The TAC took the South African government to court to ensure pregnant mother had access to Nevaripine during labour.

Read the article published in 2001 here to see what happened..

The TAC won and MTCT declined steadily over the next few years. Currently, the success rate continues and even fewer than 1 per cent of babies are born with HIV today.
The common form of preventing MTCT today is not a single dose of Nevaripine but rather if a HIV pregnant mother is put onto ARVs during her pregnancy ( irrespective of her CD4 count), she gives her baby the protection it needs. If the mother continues to breastfeed her baby while on ARVs, she will protect her baby from getting HIV during breastfeeding.

The TAC continues, but the legendary Achmat resigned and continuous to be productive in many other areas like film directing.
What a David!