Monday, 27 October 2014 (Johannesburg, South Africa) - South African Deputy President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced the return of the International AIDS Conference to Durban today at an event celebrating the role of private sector companies in the response to HIV globally. Mr Ramaphosa said the conference’s return was a sign of how far South Africa had come in the 16 years since the event was last held in the country.
At the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000 Nelson Mandela said this meeting was about ‘turning around one of the greatest threats humankind has faced.’ That speech and the conference as a whole changed how the world responded to HIV,” said Ramaphosa. “When Madiba spoke those words, very few South Africans were able to access HIV treatment. Today there are more than two and a half million people receiving treatment in our country.”
Deputy President Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of the AIDS 2016 Private Sector Reference Group (PSRG), a collection of private businesses who are helping shape the agenda for AIDS 2016. The PSRG is recognition of the important role the private sector has played in the history of the HIV response on the continent. Their contribution has led to innovative partnerships with government and multilateral institutions that have increased access to critically needed care.
“AIDS 2016 will bring the latest cutting edge prevention, treatment and care science to South Africa,” said Chris Beyrer, International AIDS Society President and AIDS 2016 International Chair. “Our conference is the only of its kind that bring scientists, researchers, policymakers, the private sector and community members together to discuss what we need to do to end AIDS.”
Joining the Deputy President were representatives from the four companies who have joined the Private Sector Reference Group for AIDS 2016:
- Dr. Jonathan Broomberg, CEO, Discovery Health
- Ms. Nobuzwe Mbuyisa, Chairman, Chevron South Africa
- Mrs. Khanyisile Kweyama, Executive Director, Anglo American South Africa Limited
- Mr. Brett Parker, Managing Director, SAP Africa
“It is a source of pride for our company that we are participating in the preparations for AIDS 2016 alongside our colleagues in the government, academia and civil society,” said Brian Brink, Chief Medical Officer at Anglo-American and Chair of the AIDS 2016 Private Sector Reference Group. “Our HIV prevention, treatment and care programs are an essential part of our commitment to our staff and their community.”
“The world has made tremendous gains against HIV in the last decade, but it is simply not enough,” said Dr Olive Shisana, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa and Local Co-Chair, AIDS 2016. “Nobody should be dying of AIDS today and we can no longer ignore the populations who need our support the most – young women, men who have sex with men, drug users and sex workers. That is what AIDS 2016 is about and it is why having the South African government and private sector from around the world join us is so important.”
See the photos of this events
Notes to Editors The 21st International AIDS Conference will take place from 18 to 22 July, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. www.aids2016.org
Media Liaison Officer, Office of the Deputy President
The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
Tel. (+27) 12 300 5321
Mobile. (+27) 823386707
About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 13,000 members from more than 190 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. The IAS members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners.
The IAS is custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Durban, South Africa, 17-22 July 2016 and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 19-22 July 2015.
www.iasociety.org | www.aids2016.org | www.ias2015.org