North Star Alliance at the 6th SA AIDS Conference

This week, the 6th SA AIDS Conference kicks off in Durban, South Africa, and North Star Alliance will be live at the event. The conference, which marks a decade since the first conference was held in Durban in 2003, brings together a cross section of professionals, academics, and activists from the public and private sectors to tackle important issues in the global response to AIDS, from basic sciences, to epidemiology and prevention.

“This conference is significant because it comes a decade after the first SA AIDS conference. There have been many developments since then, both good and bad, and apart from highlighting the amazing achievements of the researchers and clinicians, will also give us an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made since then,” says Prof. Koleka Mlisana, the chairperson of the conference.

The conference, which is focused on the theme of “Building on Successes, Integrating Systems”, will include a special satellite session called “Highway to Health: Rolling out HIV services to a mobile population”, which will look at scaling-up health services for truck drivers and sex worker over the next three years, and the opportunities and challenges that exist in doing so. Moderated by North Star Alliance’s Senior Project Manager, Jacqui Hadingham, the session includes presentations by Luke Disney, North Star Alliance’s Executive Director, Prof. Francois Venter and Maria Sibanyoni, from the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, and Thato Chidarikire, South Africa’s acting Director of the National Department of Health.

Alongside our satellite session, presentations and workshops will cover a broad range of HIV-associated themes throughout the conference including changing global targets, TB and HIV, clinical epidemiology, HIV risk and gender issues, responding to the needs of children, and on how to translate scientific advancement in to community practice.

“There are many successes out there; people all over the country are doing some incredible work. But the challenge for us is to know about these successes and to ensure people in similar situations and circumstances are receiving care and treatment based on best practices. As a community we are obligated to ensure this because this is the only way we will bring meaningful and sustained change in managing HIV and AIDS in South Africa,” says Prof. Mlisana.

If you aren’t at the conference this week, don’t worry – we’ll be tweeting live with photos, quotes, and information from the conference.

Session Overview

Highway to Health: Rolling out HIV services to a mobile population

Wednesday 19th June, 18h00-20h00

Prof. Francois Venter (WRHI)

On the Move South Africa: Health and HIV in mobile populations – Politics, Failure in HIV Prevention and New Approaches

Luke Disney (North Star Alliance)

Moving Targets: New Models along North South Corridor for Trucker’s Wellness

Maria Sibanyoni (WRHI)

Women at Risk: Addressing Sex Workers as part of a comprehensive approach

Thato Chidarikire (NDoH)

Spotlight on High Transmission Areas

If you’d like to find out more about our work, or this session, please feel free to contact us.

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