Opening Ceremony – ICASA 2021

Africans have been urged to address inequities with greater impetus over the next few years in line with the global AIDS strategy. This call was made by Dr. MOETI Matshidiso, WHO Regional Director for Africa, during the opening ceremony of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) currently taking place in Durban, South Africa. Fueled by discriminatory policies, punitive laws, stigma, gender-based violence, lack of access to education and information, and poverty, inequality has been noted to present a significant challenge to achieving various health targets including that of HIV. A call was also made to harness the extensive scientific capabilities both in Africa and in the diaspora to formulate African solutions to pandemics and emerging diseases. The impact of COVID-19 on the HIV response and health systems in general received no less amount of attention as speakers called for strategies that will end both pandemics.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony included Dr. Joe Phaahla, Minister of Health Republic of South Africa, Prof. John Idoko, ICASA 2021 President / SAA President, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, UNAIDS, and David Mabuza, Deputy President of South Africa. The theme for this year’s WAD “inequalities, end AIDS, end pandemics” was the cross-cutting theme in the various addresses at the opening ceremony.

ICASA is a biennial conference organized by the Society for AIDS in Africa. This year’s conference is under the theme: Africa’s AIDS response: The race to 2030 – Evidence. Scale-up. Accelerates. The conference, which started yesterday, 6th December, 2021 is expected to continue and end on Saturday 11th December, 2021. ICASA is the premier gathering for all working in the field of Health as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It presents a tremendous opportunity for researchers, clinicians from around the world to share the latest scientific advances, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of the collective effort to end AIDS by 2030.


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The Ghana AIDS Commission is a supra-ministerial and multi-sectoral body established under the Chairmanship of H. E. the President of the Republic of Ghana by Act 2016, Act 938 of Parliament. The objective of the Commission is to formulate policy on the HIV and AIDS epidemic and...

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