5th SA AIDS Conference

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Message from the Chairperson

2011 Conference Chair
Prof WD Francois Venter, FCP (SA)
Theme: “Leadership, Delivery and Accountability”

The theme of this AIDS conference is “Leadership, Delivery and Accountability”. We’ve never needed it as much as now.

HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is at a crossroads. Prevention programmes have been disappointing, and HIV remains at very high prevalence levels in almost every community. Treatment and prevention of mother-to-child programmes have been scaled up, but donor support has wavered, leaving many countries in the desperate position of rationing. Budgets are under pressure, in the wake of a recession and competing priorities in the fields of job creation, housing and education. TB remains a stubborn and complex problem.

We have excellent treatment for HIV, but health systems are failing in provision of care. We have good data on risk factors for HIV acquisition, but limited agreement on prevention strategies. We have excellent legislation, but evidence of widespread discrimination and stigma. The excitement and relative chaos that has occurred in the last few years, pushed on by the huge, increased funding and passion for changing the system.

A certain level of cynicism has crept in around AIDS conferences in the last couple of years. They are seen as talk shops and endless ‘calls to action’. This is a pity; I remember my first few HIV conferences, the excitement of seeing passionate people addressing a mortal disease with courage and wisdom. As the next generation of clinicians, researchers and activists start entering the field, we need to similarly inspire them. It is with this in mind, that we have put together an exciting and diverse programme, with something for everyone, and with a very strong African focus. The Conference committees, the board, and everyone involved has worked very hard to bring you something special. We hope you enjoy it!

Prof WD Francois Venter, FCP (SA)
Deputy Executive Director, WrHI (Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute)
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

List of Committee members

Name & Surname Company Designation
Francois Venter

Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health,
HIV and Related Diseases

Conference Chair
Gustaaf Wolvaardt Dira Sengwe Board of Directors Representative
Wendy Burgers Institute of Infectious Diseases Track 1: Chair
Vivek Naranbhai CAPRISA Track 1: Co-chair
Nesri Padayatchi CAPRISA Track 2: Chair
Doug Wilson KZN Dept of Health Track 5: Co-Chair
Shereen Usdin Soul City, IHDC Track 5: Chair
David Coetzee University of Cape Town Track 3: Co-Chair
Laetitia Rispel University of the Witwatersrand Track 4: Chair
Mary Crewe Centre for the Study of AIDS, UP Track 4: Co-Chair
Winnie Moleko Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases Track 5: Chair
Jonathan Berger Section 27 Incorporating the AIDS Law Project Track 5: Co-Chair
Boniswa Seti ARASA Track 6: Chair
Bonnie Jean Saxon Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases Track 6: Co-chair
Fatima Shaik SA HIV Soc Skills Development
Muthei Dombo SA Registrars Association University Scholarship Programme

Conference poster

Poster New 2011