SA Deputy President David Mabuza. File photo: ANA

PRETORIA - Deputy President David Mabuza will lead a South African delegation to the 22nd International Aids conference (Aids 2018) under the theme “Breaking Barriers Building Bridges”, taking place from July 23 to 27 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the presidency said on Sunday.

Mabuza is chairman of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC), which co-ordinates South Africa’s response to the HIV/Aids epidemic.

The Aids conference was the largest conference on any global health issue, the presidency said in a statement.

First convened during the peak of the Aids epidemic in 1985, it continued to provide "a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights". Each conference was an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensured an effective response to the HIV epidemic.

Aids 2018 would provide 18,000 conference delegates with the latest HIV research, as well as an opportunity to reflect on key issues facing both the HIV sector and the broader global health community. The conference was hosted by the International Aids Society (IAS), the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members included researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.

At Aids 2018, South African researchers and programme leaders would release new resources and announcements demonstrating South Africa’s strong commitment to end Aids. Mabuza would be accompanied by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, the presidency said.

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African News Agency (ANA)