In Uganda, in a hospital in the capital Kampala, 14-year-old Vincent is being treated for cryptoccocal meningitis, contracted as a result of AIDS. Underweight, frightened and wracked with pain, he is one of literally millions of AIDS orphans across Africa who will die in the next 10 years unless life-saving antiretroviral drugs become more widely available. But at current prices, the drugs are just too expensive for most African countries. The fight for affordable drugs in Africa first made world headlines last year when a consortium of 42 major pharmaceutical companies took the South African government to court over its right to import or manufacture generic drugs to treat AIDS sufferers. After a global campaign by activist groups, Trades Unions and NGOs, the 42 companies finally withdrew the case in April 2001 – in what was widely regarded as a humiliating climbdown. But even before the court case outcome, the companies had begun reducing the prices of their patented drugs – as part of the Accelerating Access Initiative brokered by UNAIDS to provide cut price drugs and training to selected African countries, including Uganda. This Life episode investigates the background to AIDS treatment in Africa, reports on the success of the Uganda programme, and asks why – with the highest rates of HIV infection in the world – the South African government is still refusing to authorise a national programme of treatment for HIVAIDS sufferers.