ETHEKWINI AIMS TO END AIDS BY 2030
Written by: Menelisi Ndwandwe
The outgoing Mayor of Ethekwini Municipality, James Nxumalo has praised the council for coming with initiatives to fight the HIV epidemic in the city, as it is said to contain most infections.
Whilst speaking with the media at the World Aids Conference seven days countdown at KwaMuhle Museum yesterday, Nxumalo said the city was grateful to host this prestigious conference once again.
“It coincides with the birthday of the statesman, Dr. Nelson Mandela and he opened the conference that was held in Durban in 2000,” said Nxumalo.
He also recalled Nkosi Johnson’s plea in the 2000 conference, where Johnson wanted the government to fast-track the process of delivering HIV treatment.
“Now more people are on antiretroviral drugs which is one of the highlights of this 5th administration and surely Nkosi’s plea is achieved,” explained Nxumalo.
According to the Department of Health website, in 2009, South Africa made a policy change in the treatment of HIV and TB and now the country has the largest ARV treatment program in the world.
James Seymour, Chief Convention Bureau Officer, alluded on how the city and the province will benefit from hosting the conference.
“According to the latest statistics, the international delegate spent around R3210 a day, delegates will spend more than five days, meaning the city’s economy will benefit a sum of approximately R800 million,” said Seymour
For the first time, a selected group of independently organised pre-conference meetings which will be hosted within the main conference venue (International Convention Centre) over the weekend of 16 and 17 July.
Ethekwini Municipality has come with its own theme for this conference which has a target: ‘THE RETURN TO DURBAN –A CRITICAL MOMENT IN ENDING AIDS BY 2030’.
Meanwhile the last host, Australia declared on Monday that Aids is no longer a public health issue in that country on Indo-Australia plate.
*Caption: Seven days remain before the start of the International AIDS Conference