Government, business and civil society held a two-day National Consultative Conference on the National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS and STIs for 2007-2011 at Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg from March 14 to 15.
The conference was a major milestone in our efforts, as the people of South Africa, to respond to HIV and AIDS, which is a major challenge affecting our lives in many different ways.
The conference welcomed the draft National Strategic Plan which has been developed by a Task Team of experts on HIV and AIDS from government, business and civil society. The conference commended the outstanding work done by the Task Team in developing this sound document that can serve as a framework for the renewed partnership against HIV and AIDS.
There were a number of inputs aimed at further strengthening and enriching the plan from working groups focusing on four priority areas for the Plan, which are:
- treatment, care and support
- research, monitoring and evaluation
- human and legal rights.
The inputs focused on strengthening the current programmes and adding new strategies to achieve the objective of the Plan to reduce the number of new HIV infections and mitigate the impact of AIDS on individuals, families and communities.
These inputs will be incorporated into the final Plan that will be adopted by the new South African National AIDS Council within the next month.
The Plan will serve as a national framework for HIV and AIDS response and all sectors will develop their sectoral programmes in line with the Plan.
Government expresses its appreciation to all partners represented at the conference for demonstrating commitment to participate in enhancing the response to HIV and AIDS through the implementation of the new National Strategic Plan.
Government is committed to work together with all partners and to play its leadership role in responding to the challenge of HIV and AIDS. The success of the Plan is dependent on all sectors complementing each other on implementation.
The United Nations resident representative in South Africa, Ms Scholastica Kimaryo, commended South Africa on its efforts and abilities to be innovative in addressing this scourge. She reiterated the call by the Deputy President that it could not continue to be 'business as usual in the fight against AIDS as either we all win or the epidemic wins.'.
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)