News | 7 Sep 2017
The International HIV/AIDS Alliance is part of the UNAIDS Prevention Focal Point Group, responsible for planning the launch meeting of the UNAIDS Global HIV Prevention Coalition to be held in Nairobi in October. As part of building international momentum around this launch, and getting civil society input and engagement, the Alliance held a thematic meeting on prevention in which key global prevention advocates/champions were in attendance.
NACOSA, as the Alliance’s incoming linking organisation for South Africa, hosted this prevention meeting which took place on 28 August – 31 August 2017 at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town.
The topic for the conference, Taking The Lead: Communities In Prevention was very fitting, as NGOs around the globe both big and small came together to discuss and promote efforts around HIV combination prevention. As the host country of such an imperative meeting, NACOSA made all the necessary logistical arrangements to make certain that all the delegates had an easy, productive and enjoyable experience in the mother city, Cape Town.
The delegates were from the following countries; Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Cambodia, Ecuador, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, UK and of course South Africa. All these countries have diverse historical, religious and cultural backgrounds which all play a role in the efforts or mediums that are put in place to eradicate HIV and AIDS. The conference gave these countries a chance to point out all their challenges in implementing prevention methods and also granted them an opportunity to learn from each other on the best ways to overcome them.
On the first day, Felistus Motimedi from Bonelela in Botswana thanked the Alliance for allowing HIV/AIDS organizations the opportunity of being part of the discussions around the UNAIDS Global Prevention Coalition as in the past, organizations are just given guidelines to implement without prior involvement in the drafting of these guidelines.
Participating countries shared their experiences and efforts in combating HIV and AIDS through prevention and what they would like to see considered in the guidelines. NACOSA shared how South Africa is working towards HIV prevention by showcasing two of the sub-recipient organisations through field visits. The delegates visited SWEAT, a 20 year old organisation based in Cape Town, delivering services to sex workers in a number of sites across South Africa and Yabonga, an NGO providing a safe and stimulating space for children in the townships of Cape Town.
The meeting was indeed a success as the engagement of participating countries in the UNAIDS Global Prevention Roadmap was strengthened.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the many exquisite wine estates so after the meeting, NACOSA’s Executive Director, Dr Maureen van Wyk, took the delegates for a wine tasting session at the De Grendel Wine Estate.
By Amanda Luyenge