Access Equity Rights – Now
22 July 2016
The 21st International AIDS Conference ended its successful deliberations in Durban on 22 July 2016.
The conference was convened under the theme, “Access Equity Rights – Now” and was held against the background of the global celebrations of the Nelson Mandela International Day, drawing inspiration from the clarion call by the former president Nelson Mandela that "It is in our hands” [to realise an HIV-free generation].
The South African Presidency said the delegation remained cognisant that to achieve such an HIV-free generation would require commitment from the international community amongst others, consistent investment in research and development that could lead to new options for vaccine and a functional cure for HIV.
During the Conference, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), paid a courtesy call on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and likewise received a courtesy call from philanthropist and donor Bill Gates.
“The Deputy President jointly with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also held an interactive session with young women on HIV prevention before delivering an address during the official opening session of the Conference which featured among others Conference Co-Chairpersons Dr. Olive Shisana, Chris Beyrer, Charlize Theron and Michel Sidibe.
“This is the second time that South Africa hosted on its soil this very important International AIDS Conference which brought together 18 000 delegates including scientists and leaders of government, civil society, the private sector and donors together,” said the Presidency.
The Presidency said the South African government delegation, which comprised members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) led by Minister Jeff Radebe and included Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, utilised the opportunity provided by the conference to highlight its globally acclaimed programme aimed at combating the HIV epidemic.
“This included sharing 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. Equally South Africa shared its lessons with the international community regarding the challenges of HIV among young women and girls.
“South Africa remains confident that the conference, which is expected to be closed with an address by Minister Motsoaledi, among others, on Friday, 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 coincides with objectives of its own National Development Plan (NDP),” said the Presidency. - SAnews.gov.za