21st International AIDS Conference Kicks off in Durban
July 20, 2016 11:53 AM NPT
By: Sapan Hamal
DURBAN, July 20: Over 18000 global leaders, health workers, advocates, scientists and media representatives have gathered in Durban, South Africa for the 21st International AIDS Conference.
The 21st AIDS Conference has returned to Durban after 16 years. The conference runs from July 18th to 22nd 2016 at International Convention Centre, Durban.
This year, the AIDS 2016 has also organized the pre-conference within the conference venue from July 16th to July 17th which led to the main conference from July 18 onward.
At the official opening press conference, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki- Moon warned of an immediate need for more action to avoid backsliding on progress made to date. "As a global community, we must move quickly and decisively toward achieving the targets that will help us financially bring this epidemic to an end."
Olive Shisana, AIDS 2016 Local Co-Chair said, "This is the second time that Durban will be hosting the International AIDS Conference and marks a major milestone in the HIV response. We want to create an enhanced conference experience for everyone involved."
AIDS 2016 is organized by the International AIDS Society In partnership with the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the International Council of AIDS Service organizers, the International Community of Women Living with HIV/ AIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/ AIDS (UNAIDS) and other non-permanent partners. More than 15 activists, researchers, government officials and health workers are representing Nepal in this year’s AIDS conference.
As being an activist in the area over the years, Dipu Joshi, Director of Naya Goreto feels, this is an excellent opportunity to represent Nepal in this esteemed conference. When I will go back to my country, I will extend my work in much larger scale and help my community to understand the facts about HIV/ AIDS. As South Africa is also celebrating the Mandela day, the 21st International Conference is starting to focus on the work that remains to be done if the world is to achieve the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030.