|15. April 2016
Preparations for International AIDS Conference in Durban under way
The UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé, has met South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi in Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss the country’s ongoing response to HIV.
South Africa is the country with the highest number of people living with HIV in the world: 6.5 million people. However, the country continues to scale up treatment and prevention services as part of the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, and is showing results—around 340 000 people were newly infected with HIV in 2014, down from 600 000 in 2000.
This year promises to be particularly significant for South Africa’s AIDS response as the country will host the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban in July. Mr Ramaphosa described it is a key opportunity to showcase the turnaround in the South African epidemic since the International AIDS Conference was last hosted in Durban, in 2000. Mr Ramaphosa also stated that South Africa will send a delegation to attend the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in New York, United States of America, to be held in June.
“South Africa has invested heavily in its AIDS response in the last six years. We are excited to show the results of this investment to the rest of the world during the United Nations High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, in New York, United States of America, and the 21st International AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa.” (Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President, South Africa)
“South Africa continues to achieve impressive results in its AIDS response. I am delighted that it will play a leading role in two major milestones in the global AIDS response: the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in New York, United States of America, and the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.” (Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director) “We must ensure that HIV remains at the centre of the global health development agenda. Health cuts across almost all of the SDGs and without addressing health we will not achieve the ambitious development goals set for 2030.” (Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health)
(UN Information Service, Wien)