International AIDS Symposium 2018

The International AIDS Symposium was an incredible event this year with approx. 18 000 global leaders, policy makers, researchers, programme implementers and advocates working together at the unique intersection of science, advocacy and human rights.

Sue Paget, our Executive Director, attended to represent RFHA Inc USA, and learn more about the global efforts to help fight such deadly diseases!

The Conference is the largest on any global health issue in the world and the theme for 2018 was Breaking Barriers Building Bridges was the theme.  Much of the conference focussed around addressing the key populations who are vulnerable – sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender, LGBT,  truck drivers, drug addicts and young girls and women.  Another strong theme was test and treat and adherence to taking ARV’s.  There is a drive as well to encourage men to test and treat.  Prevention is the key.

The conference consisted Pre Conference sessions starting on the 21st July, Plenary sessions with high level speakers such as the Earl of Cambridge, Elton John, Ambassador Deborah Birx, UNAIDS and WHO heads and President Clinton to name but a few; Symposia featuring Ministers of Health, Corporates, Civil Society; and Scientific Abstracts. The Global Village was representative of the youth and key populations as well as other NGO’s and Exhibition hall was made up of Ministries of Health and Pharmaceutical Companies mostly. It seem to me that Sub Saharan Africa was well represented with sparse representation from West Africa. 

The South African Minister of Health is highly respected on the Global Stage and acknowledged for his interventions around HIV as South Africa is the leading country with new infections.

There is no doubt that any corporation working in the HIV world should attend the Conference as a knowledge build up and networking event.  It was most valuable.

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