Grandmothers against AIDS
Victoria grandmothers are joining a nation-wide shout-out Nov. 1 to promote affordable medicines to fight AIDS in Africa. The Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) is organizing gatherings on 17 hilltops across Canada to send the message “from our hill to Parliament Hill” that Bill C-398 must be passed. “We believe our politicians have the power to save lives in Africa — all they have to do is pass Bill C-398,” says local GRAN member Anne Young. Bill C-398 will cut through red tape, allowing generic drug makers to sell life-saving anti-retrovirals to Africa, at no cost to Canadians. A similar bill collapsed last year when the federal election was called. The rally here at noon, Thursday, Nov. 1, at Clover Point, will feature music and messages aimed at urging Canada’s MPs to pass the licensing law. Once Bill C-398 becomes law, one Canadian company has promised to develop an AIDS drug for children. A child born with AIDS in Africa has a 50 per cent chance of dying before her second birthday. Fewer than 1 in 5 children are getting the life-saving anti-retroviral drugs.