South Africa AIDS Conference
06 June 2007
“If South Africa can achieve its aims, the country will be well on the way to leading Africa into a new phase in the AIDS response,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, at the opening of the third South African Aids conference in Durban yesterday.
Congratulating South Africa for its new “ambitious and credible” five-year National Strategic Plan for Aids, which aims to half new infections by 2011, Dr Piot underlined that the effective implementation of the plan is critical for future progress. “ The National AIDS Plan represents an incentive for all of us, wherever we work, to take a cold, hard look at what we are doing and to change what needs to change,” he said. “Failure to reach the ambitious, but necessary, goals would be a collective failure on all our parts. You have a better chance than any other country in the region to deliver on AIDS. If you can't, who can?" he added.
More than 4000 scientists, activists and medical experts have joined in Durban this week for the third South African AIDS Conference. At the conference opening, Dr Piot joined Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka, who heads the recently restructured South African National AIDS Council, social activist Graça Machel and the Treatment Action Campaign’s Nkhensani Mavasa on the podium.
The conference theme is Building Consensus on Prevention, Treatment and Care, and organisers hope to end the four-day meeting with a formal declaration on the way forward on key topics, such as the role of male circumcision in preventing HIV transmission. Other issues up for discussion include WHO/UNAIDS’ new guidelines on HIV testing and counselling and the spread of extremely drug resistant tuberculosis, to which people living with HIV are particularly vulnerable.
The conference will run from 5 – 8 June.
Read UNAIDS Press Release
Read Dr Piot’s opening speech: ‘To reduce AIDS globally, South Africa should succeed’ (pdf, 43 Kb)
Download the HIV and AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa, 2007 – 2011 (pdf, 1.6 Mb)
Read feature story: South Africa marks key AIDS milestones
Visit the official web site of the 3rd South African AIDS Conference