AIDS patients hurt by South African strike

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“I doubt there’s very much testing going on during the strike,” said AIDS activist Mark Heywood. “The health care service has basically broken down in large parts of the country.”

Heywood said he supports the call for better wages that has led nurses and doctors as well as teachers, court clerks and other government workers to strike. But Heywood said he was trying to persuade unions to help ensure AIDS patients are cared for during the strike.

A public service strike in 2007 lasted a month.

Now, the two sides appear deadlocked. Unions who haven’t yet joined the strike have threatened to do so, and major marches are planned Thursday in a show of labor’s strength. The government has brought in military medics and volunteers to try to keep hospitals running.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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