AIDS conference: HIV stop top priority


12,000 experts at AIDS conference in Africa: Stop HIV spread as the highest goal of the AIDS conference in Cape Town
08.12.2013

The highest goal of the ICASA AIDS conference currently taking place in Cape Town is to stop the spread of HIV. 12,000 AIDS experts are expected in South Africa.

Curbing new infections According to the organizers, curbing new HIV infections is the main concern of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ISACA), which is currently taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. The focus is on networking and the exchange of information between the 12,000 expected AIDS experts. This was emphasized by ICASA director Emily Blitz at the beginning of the conference on Saturday, in which scientists, politicians and activists take part.

Providing more people with medication The largest African AIDS conference will last for five days. Around 600 organizations and associations are represented at the biennial ICASA. Until Wednesday, lectures and seminars will also focus on new treatment methods in the fight against the deadly viral disease. Blitz explained that in addition to preventive measures, it was particularly important to provide more people with HIV medication.

Respect for the example of South Africa South Africa was deliberately chosen as the event location, because in this way the country was to be respected for its efforts in the field of health policy. The country, at the beginning of the millennium, when Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Minister of Health at the time, said that garlic, lemon and beetroot prevent the outbreak of AIDS, has made tremendous progress in recent years. According to Blitz, South Africa is now "a role model for other African countries."

70 percent of new infections south of the Sahara Around six million people in South Africa are infected with HIV, more than in any other country in the world. Thanks to extensive preventive care and intensive treatment of infected people, the number of AIDS deaths has been reduced by 41 percent in recent years. The South African government spends around 20 million euros a year on AIDS prevention and HIV treatment. According to a United Nations report, 70 percent of all new HIV infections worldwide were registered in sub-Saharan Africa last year.

Voluntary male circumcision At UNAIDS, the United Nations AIDS program, there is hope that other African countries, particularly in terms of prevention, will also be guided by South Africa. In addition to educational campaigns and a free test, the South African government particularly promotes voluntary male circumcision, as the risk of infection among circumcised men has been reduced by 60 percent, according to UNAIDS. In Rwanda, too, 700,000 men are expected to be circumcised in the near future.

Many clinics lack AIDS drugs. South Africa also has a number of challenges to overcome. According to the aid organization "Doctors Without Borders", every fifth public clinic lacks AIDS medication. Therefore, the treatment of many patients is sometimes interrupted. As the organization's deputy medical coordinator in South Africa, Amir Shroufi, warned, this could have “catastrophic consequences.” He said: “Interrupting treatment can cause patients to become immune to the medication. Then the virus can spread unhindered. "(Ad)

Image: Marcel Rolfes / pixelio.de

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