Wilton Park meeting gathers world experts to focus on HIV prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa

Image: James Pursey, courtesy of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS

Richard N Kamwi, Ambassador, Elimination 8 (E8); Professor Sir Richard Feachem, Director, Global Health Group, UCSF Global Health Sciences; Professor Sheila Tlou, Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Hon Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health, National Department of Health of South Africa; and Hon Minister Bernard Haufiku, Minister of Health and Social Affairs in Namibia

Last week, we held a three day meeting in Swakopmund on Building a stronger HIV prevention response in Sub-Saharan Africa. Namibian First Lady Monica Geingos and the Hon Dr Bernard Haufiku, Minister of Health and Social Services, were joined by HIV experts from across the region, including top government officials, leading clinicians and researchers, civil society advocates and programme implementers for the event.

Namibia’s First Lady, Madame Monica Geingos, UNAIDS Special Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls, spoke passionately about the need to find the places and language to engage with those at risk of HIV, the ‘BE FREE’ campaign in Namibia, and the success of developing smart partnerships for greater impact. Her speech is available through Periscope on Twitter @FLON_Namibia.

Participants discussed what HIV prevention efforts work best, and how these can be expanded and funded across Sub-Saharan Africa to best meet the needs of diverse groups at high risk. The group identified opportunities to deliver prevention to key populations, to overcome existing barriers and to ensure prevention can be prioritised while treatment for HIV continues to be scaled-up.

HE Ms Jo Lomas, British High Commissioner to Namibia; Richard N. Kamwi, Ambassador, Elimination 8 (E8); Madame Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia; Professor Sir Richard Feachem, Director, Global Health Group, UCSF Global Health Sciences, Robin Hart, Director of Programmes and The Sir Heinz Koeppler Fellow, Wilton Park

Former Namibian Health Minister, Dr Richard Kamwi said:

“Expanding the reach of HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa is essential to global efforts to end the epidemic. Just as our region was the birthplace of the treatment access movement, so it can be the catalyst for the large-scale delivery of HIV prevention.”

Dr Kamwi co-chaired the meeting with Sir Richard Feachem, Director of the Global Health Group at the University of California San Francisco. Sir Richard is the founding Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Daughtie Ogutu, Executive Director of the African Sex Workers Alliance, said:

“I hope this meeting provides a much-needed regional forum to learn and share how health systems and organisations are using novel approaches to successfully bring HIV prevention to those who suffer the highest disease burden due to structural barriers including stigma, discrimination and criminalization, through meaningful participation and engagement. We will never end HIV without dramatically escalating efforts to preventing HIV among Key Populations”.

 

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