The international AIDS conference is underway in South Africa 16 years after then President Thabo Mbeki dismissed the link between HIV and the disease.
The country has since then made great strides in its fight against the disease.
The conference which is being held in Durban began on the 18th July and will end on the 22nd.
AIDS does not discriminate on its own, it has no biological preference
Cyril Ramaphosa, South African Deputy President said, “At this conference we will hear the debate, the advances, how far we have advanced in terms of research, we will hear about better drugs, about strategies that have reduced the rates of infection and improved access to treatment but we will also hear that the struggle is far from over. We will hear that there is still much more to be done in the face of this we dare not to be complacent.”
The industrialized African nation now boasts of the largest treatment programme in the world, with over 3 million people receiving the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.
“AIDS does not discriminate on its own, it has no biological preference for black bodies, for women’s bodies, for gay bodies, for youth or the poor. It doesn’t single out the vulnerable, the oppressed or the abused, we single out the vulnerable, the oppressed and the abused. We ignore them, we let them suffer and then we let them die,” said Charlize Theron a humanitarian and actress.
The conference is aimed at improving our fight against HIV and AIDS. The UN has set a target of ending the AIDS pandemic by 2030.