7th SA AIDS Conference

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Message from the Chairperson

2015 Conference Chair
Dr Nono Simelela
Theme: “Reflection, Refocus, Renewal”

A very warm welcome to all delegates attending the 7th SA AIDS Conference in this beautiful city of Durban.

We meet on the eve of major developments on the international front—in a few months, the UN will adopt the post-2015 sustainable development goals as the time frame for the MDGs draws to a close. The global HIV community is acutely aware of the unfinished business with regard to HIV and other health-related MDGs and we are encouraged by the commitment of the Africa Region to maintain a strong focus on the HIV epidemic and to push ahead with a consolidated regional response.

On the home front, we have no option but to remain focussed on scaling up our interventions and strengthening the multi-sectoral response. Although we continue to make significant progress across a wide range of interventions, there is no room for complacency. We have to confront some of the persistent challenges in our health and community systems and find innovative ways to consolidate our programmes.

Over the next few days, we will take time to reflect on the progress to date, interrogate some of the missed opportunities and more importantly, chart a path towards the achievement of the new 90;90;90 targets. To reach these targets, South Africa needs to deal decisively with the stubbornly high rates on new HIV infections among young women and girls. This challenge looms large and requires a united effort.

As we initiate more people on treatment we need to find simple and efficient networks to support adherence and reduce loss to follow up. A sustainable response requires a government-wide approach, a robust health system and nimble, resilient and well-resourced communities.

The Programme Committee has worked hard to put together an exciting and informative programme with presentations that take us from the laboratory, to the clinics, from the clinics to the communities and more importantly, to individuals who are central in everything we do. I am confident that some of the issues will generate robust discussions through which we could find solutions to some of the challenges that continue to hamper our progress.

I am confident that the week ahead will be exciting and full of fun and that, at the end of the Conference we will all be better informed, energized and ready to tackle the long road ahead.

I encourage you all to engage, participate and network- this is your Conference- make the best of it.

Dr Nono Simelela

Conference Chairperson
Advisor to the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa

List of Committee members

Name & Surname Company Designation
Dr Nono Simelela Special Advisor to the Deputy President of the Republic, The Presidency, Republic of South Africa Conference Chair
Ms Mary Crewe Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender Conference Co-chair
Prof. Francois Venter Deputy-Executive Director,
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
Track 1: Chair
Prof. Mzikazi Nduna Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology,
University of the Witwatersrand
Track 2: Chair
Mrs Deborah Baron Programme Manager: Clinical Research Consortium,
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute
Track 2: Co-Chair
Dr Rebecca Hodes Director
AIDS & Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town
Track 3: Chair
Prof Nana Poku Professor of Global Health & Executive Director
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (HEARD)
Track3: Co-Chair
Dr Sakhumzi Mfecane Senior Lecturer: Department of Anthropology & Sociology
University of the Western Cape
Track 4: Chair
Dr Mpumi Zungu Research Director
HSRC
Track 4: Co-Chair
Ms Rukia Cornelius National Manager: Community Education Mobilization
Sonke Gender Justice
Track 5: Chair
Ms Johanna Ncala

Conference poster

Poster New 2011