Deputy President David Mabuza will lead a South African delegation to the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) under the theme "Breaking Barriers Building Bridges", taking place between 23 - 27 July 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Deputy President Mabuza is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which coordinates South Africa's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an effective response to the HIV epidemic.
AIDS 2018 will provide 18,000 conference delegates with the latest HIV research, as well as an opportunity to reflect on key issues facing both the HIV sector and the broader global health community. The conference is hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), the world's largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.
At AIDS 2018, South African researchers and programme leaders will be releasing new resources and announcements demonstrating South Africa's strong commitment to end AIDS.
On 24 July 2018, Deputy President Mabuza, in his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will share with conference delegates the process followed for the fifth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey. The survey results were launched locally in Pretoria on 17 July 2018. South African Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé and United States Government Health Attaché, Mr Steve Smith, will form part of the panel discussion on the findings of the survey.
Conducted over 18 months, the survey examined 11 743 households, and found that approximately 7.9 million South Africans were living with HIV in 2017.
The research also indicated that South Africa is making progress with regards to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020. These targets stipulate that 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of all people receiving ART will have viral load suppression.
While in Amsterdam, the Deputy President will call for high-level political and financial commitments on HIV and elevate the issue of TB. He will hold a meeting with Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and participate in the AIDS 2018 sessions.
Deputy President Mabuza will also formally open the South African exhibition stand, developed by SANAC, in collaboration with government and civil society partners.
As South Africa and the world mark the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela this year, South Africa's exhibition stand will reflect and honour their significant contributions to the HIV and TB response.
The stand has been dubbed "Vilakazi Street", the Soweto street where the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize laureates - South Africa's first democratically elected president, the late President Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu - are found.
Deputy President David Mabuza will be accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
Issued by: The Presidency