SA ready to host 21st International Aids Conference

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pretoria – South Africa is ready to host over 12 000 delegates from 180 countries for the 21st International Aids Conference to be held in Durban, says the Presidency.

The Presidency on Sunday said the weeklong event will be held at the Durban International Convention Centre from 18 to 22 July, under the theme: “Access Equity Rights – Now”.

The event will coincide with the Nelson Mandela Day. The Presidency said South Africa’s message to the conference will be premised on the late former President’s clarion call that “It is in our hands” to achieve an HIV-Free Generation in our lifetime.

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

“Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will lead the South African Government delegation and deliver an opening address at the Conference,” said the Presidency.

Among other speakers, according to the Presidency, will be Conference Co-Chairpersons Dr Olive Shisana, Chris Beyrer and Charlize Theron. 

“President Jacob Zuma has established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) under the leadership of Minister Jeff Radebe to ensure South Africa’s successful hosting of the Conference.

“This is the second time that South Africa will host this very important International AIDS conference which brings together scientists and leaders of government, civil society and the private sector. This theme is in alignment with South Africa’s view that inclusive health care is a constitutional right,” said the Presidency.

It said the International AIDS Conference will thus provide South Africa with an opportunity to highlight its globally acclaimed programme aimed at combating the HIV epidemic.  

“South Africa will also utilise the conference to share its lessons with the international community about how it is currently implementing the largest ARV programme in the world with 3.4 million people on treatment.

“South Africa is confident that the deliberations in Durban will yield meaningful solutions for the global community to create the conditions for an AIDS Free-Generation and to tackle the challenges of HIV and TB which is also in line with the objectives of South Africa’s National Development Plan,” said the Presidency.

It said Durban was chosen as the venue for this year’s conference because of the tremendous progress South Africa has made since the last Durban conference held in 2000, and is now regarded as a world leader in the efforts to tackle the HIV epidemic. - SAnews.gov.za

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