President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday paid tribute to the HIV/AIDS activist group, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its establishment.

In a statement from the presidency, Ramaphosa lauded the TAC for its role in fighting for HIV positive South Africans to gain access to life-saving medicine.

"The Treatment Action Campaign was founded on International Human Rights Day – 10 December – 1998 to campaign for access to AIDS treatment. The organisation has gained international regard as one of the most important civil society organisations campaigning around AIDS in the developing world," the presidency said.

"President Ramaphosa has commended TAC for making a lasting contribution to South African society and the development of the democratic dispensation in the country in the course of two decades of activism and transformation."

TAC activists, through a civil disobedience campaign and several court battles with government and pharmaceutical companies, was one of the leading organisations which put pressure on government to roll out antiretroviral treatment to all people living with HIV and forced government to provide drugs to HIV positive pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child-transmission.

African News Agency (ANA)