Motlanthe takes SA's HIV combatting plan to world conference

Friday, July 20, 2012

The conference, to be held in Washington DC from 22 - 27 July, will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV.

It will be held under the theme 'Turning the Tide Together', which has been chosen to emphasise how a global and decisive commitment is crucial to change the course of the epidemic now that science is presenting promising results in HIV treatment and biomedical prevention.

This biennial event is the world's largest meeting on Aids, where leading scientists report on the latest Aids research, and together with implementers, community leaders and policymakers, help to identify next steps in the global response to Aids.

About 25 000 scientists, people living with HIV and other stakeholders from nearly 200 countries are expected to attend the conference.

South Africa's Strategic Plan 2012 - 2016 focuses on eliminating HIV as advocated by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAIDS). The vision for the country is zero new HIV and TB infections to vertical transmission, zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and TB and zero discrimination associated with HIV and TB.

Motlanthe is the chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), a multi-sectoral body that advises government on appropriate strategies in response to HIV, Aids, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and TB.

While in Washington, Motlanthe will also hold bi-lateral meetings with donor agencies and other stakeholders. He will also meet with senior members of the US Congress, including the Congressional Black Caucus.

Other speakers at the conference include US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim as well as UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidib.