Ethiopia declares victory over HIV/AIDS ahead of int'l conference

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Ethiopia's Minister of Health Tewodros Adhanom, said the Horn of African state is achieving remarkable results in fighting HIV/AIDS as it finalizes preparations to host the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA).

Adhanom made the statement here during a press conference on ICASA, to be held 4 – 8 December in Addis Ababa, which is the biggest conference the city has ever hosted.

According to him, despite a 25 per cent decrease in new HIV/AIDS infection cases and a dramatic decline in the rate of deaths due to access to medication and information, Ethiopia's government remains determined to deter any possible complacence.

The minister said the country had finalized preparations to host the expected 7,000 to 10,000 participants at the ICASA.

ICASA is organized with the objective of sharing and exchange of scientific knowledge and experiences as well as best practices on HIV/AIDS and STIs in Africa and the globe, he said.

The conference will also help renew commitment and to start even more aggressive fight against HIV/AIDS, according to him.

About 4,200 participants have already confirmed attendance at the 16th ICASA.

Speaking on the current status of HIV/AIDS, the minister said the prevalence of HIV has significantly declined in the last decade, adding that there are about 33 million people living with the virus across the globe, 68 per cent of who are in Africa.

Ethiopia is among 22 countries worldwide that have seen 25 per cent decline in AIDS cases over the past decade.

Yigeremu Abebe, President of ICASA 2011, said the conference is an opportunity to renew global commitment and mobilize resources and technical assistance to reduce deaths due to HIV/AIDS in Africa.

This year’s ICASA is organized under the theme, "Own, Scale-Up, and Sustain", and the first ICASA was held in Brussels, Belgium, in 1986 with the theme, "AIDS in Africa".

Senegal hosted the 15th ICASA under the theme, "Africa's Response: Face the Facts", in 2008.

The conference attracts leaders, high level policy makers, scientists, people living with HIV/AIDS, community and opinion leaders and UN agencies, among others.
-0- PANA OR/BOS 18Nov2011

18 novembre 2011 15:06:06

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