Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation North-West University and 9th SA AIDS Conference Chair
It is a great pleasure and honour to invite you to participate in the 9 th SA AIDS Conference which will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa from the 11 th to14th June 2019. This biennial conference is the “second largest HIV conference in the world, attended by approximately 3000 delegates, of which about a quarter are from SADC, Europe, USA and other parts of the world” (https://www.durbanroutes.co.za/event/8th-sa-aids-conference-2017). It is one of the more prominent sought-after HIV & AIDS meetings of scientists, policy makers, medical practitioners, government departments and civil society aimed at discoursing contemporary issues combining efforts to end the HIV epidemic.
The 9 th AIDS conference will focus on the unprecedented scientific, social and digital innovations/technologies which could expand possibilities and opportunities towards controlling the HIV & AIDS epidemic. The conference will determine how contemporary explosive and disruptive technologies will contribute towards sustained HIV prevention efforts, HIV testing, ART uptake and adherence, trigger the development of new drugs, effectively utilise enormous volumes of data and improve communication and service delivery and eventually end the epidemic. The conference will highlight milestones, initiatives, strategies, models, systems and best practices in accelerating the control of the HIV&AIDS epidemic ahead of the 2020 global targets. In this regard, five carefully thought through conference tracks have been coined and clearly described to maximize relevant engagement.
It is anticipated the conference to contribute towards increased efficiencies, becoming future-ready in addressing the HIV epidemic nationally, regionally and globally. Continuous innovations in HIV prevention, linkage to treatment and adherence that will withstand the test of our 4th industrial revolution is critical to not lose the gains made missing the mark in reaching the 2020 and 2025 targets.
In the remaining months ahead, we will be working tirelessly in building a compelling conference programme with the various conference committees. I would encourage everyone to attend this premier event to share best practices, successes, challenges as well as learn from one another’s experience to make this event a memorable milestone on our journey toward epidemic control.