DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA (18 July 2016) Fresh off of hosting the hugely successful 10,000 strong ‘Keep the Promise’ march, rally and concert at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa featuring Queen Latifah and Common, among other artists, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization and sponsor of ‘Keep the Promise’ is host three key satellite sessions at the International AIDS Conference this week.
- First up on Monday, July 18th (14:45 – 16:45, Session Room 9), AHF will host a screening of “The People’s Hope,” a documentary recounting how AHF created the Ithembalabantu Clinic in KwaZulu Natal, Durban South Africa, giving hope to thousands when there was no hope or HIV/AIDS treatment available. The film chronicles AHFs early battles with the South African government and pharmaceutical companies in its campaign for the provision of affordable medicine in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. In South Africa, AHF opened its Ithembalantu Clinic (the Zulu word for “People’s Hope”) in Umlazi, Durban in 2001 at a time when the government was ambivalent about the rollout of lifesaving anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs. At the beginning of Ithembalabantu, AHF converted an abandoned office into a clinic for 100 patients living with HIV and hired 3 people to run it. Since then, Ithembalabantu has grown into a proud institution, recognized far beyond the township of Umlazi where it is located. Today, the Ithembalabantu clinic serves over 15,000 patients, including children born with HIV, part of the more than 100,000 patients that AHF now treats in its more than 57 clinic sites throughout South Africa.
- Next, also on Monday, July 18th (17:00 – 19:00, Session Room 9), AHF will host “Building Test & Treat: Brick by BRICS.” The highly effective ‘test and treat’ model for HIV care, which also helps contribute to ‘treatment as prevention,’ will be discussed by a panel from so-called ‘BRICS’ countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—all countries where AHF operates and has treatment programs and facilities.
- Finally, on Tuesday, July 19th (18:30 – 20:30, Session Room 9), AHF will host “Show us the $$$: The Collapse of Global AIDS Funding.” The shortfall of global funding needed to adequately prevent new infections and address and treat those living with HIV or AIDS is estimated to be between $6 billion and $10 billion USD. At a time when millions more have become eligible for access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy under new World Health Organization guidelines, the panel will discuss the current stasis of flat funding over the past several years as well as discuss ways to press governments and world leaders to honor—and increase—funding commitments in the fight against HIV/AIDS.