AIDS2016 conference countdown launch

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pretoria - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday pay a visit to the Nkosi Haven Village, in Johannesburg, to launch the five-day countdown towards the AIDS2016 International Conference to be held in Durban, says the Presidency.

The conference is scheduled to take place from 18 to 22 July at the Durban International Convention Centre. The Presidency said the conference is organised under the auspices of the International AIDS Society.

Nkosi Haven is named after Nkosi Johnson, who was one of the youngest victims of the HIV epidemic who addressed the International AIDS Conference held in Durban in 2000 and died in 2001 from the disease.

“The haven was established with the objective of providing a ''safe and nurturing home environment for mothers, children and orphans left destitute by HIV/AIDS.

“South Africa is poised to host on behalf of the African continent the 21st International AIDS Conference, under the theme, Access Equity Rights - Now, with over 12 000 delegates from 180 countries around the world expected to attend the Conference,” said the Presidency.

The opening of the Conference on Monday will coincide with the International Nelson Mandela Day.

The Presidency said the South African Government delegation will, in honour of the later former President Mandela, communicate the message that "it is in our hands'' to create an HIV-free generation.

“The government however recognises that the challenge to create an HIV-Free Generation will require the commitment and support of the international community, consistent investment in research and development that could lead to new options for a vaccine and a functional cure for HIV.

“South Africa is expected to utilise the conference to highlight its globally acclaimed national programme and share with the international community lessons and challenges deriving from its efforts aimed at tackling the HIV and TB,” said the Presidency. - SAnews.gov.za

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