#AIDS2016: Countdown to the International Aids Conference in Durban begins

With just four days to go until the International AIDS Conference kicks off in Durban, South Africa is gearing up for a meeting that will mark almost two decades of progress in HIV treatment and the legacy of a child who became the face of one of the world’s most historic battles for human rights. 

“Hi, my name is Nkosi Johnson. I live in Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa. I am 11 years old, and I have full-blown AIDS. I was born HIV-positive.”

This is how South Africa’s youngest HIV activist began his plea for treatment at the opening of the 2000 International Aids Conference in Durban. Still holding firm in his refusal to provide life-saving antiretrovirals to hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive South Africans, then president Thabo Mbeki walked out during Johnson’s address. 

Today, the South African Deputy President is slated to visit the Johannesburg home for women and children affected by HIV, named in Johnson’s honour. 

The visit marks the start of a national countdown to the conference, which returns to Durban this year. South Africans are being encouraged to wear red, black and white to commemorate the run-up to the event. 

The Bhekisisa Centre for Journalism will be covering the event with multimedia stories looking at HIV in countries like South Africa and Malawi. Tune in on Facebook or via our website for daily conference wraps from Bhekisisa Director Mia Malan, who is set to moderate a high-level panel on HIV financing in South Africa on 19 July. 

Make sure to follow us on Twitter for live updates.

Click here for all our #AIDS2016 coverage

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Related stories

Stop the ‘war on drugs’, it doesn’t work

Punitive measures simply drive drug use underground. A more effective way is to adopt harm reduction interventions

Six injections a year could stop new HIV infections

New research from seven countries in Africa signals the future of HIV prevention — but what can it learn from its past?

Q&A Sessions: Meet Thembisile Xulu, a doctor, hip-hop fan and mother

Dr Thembisile Xulu, the newly appointed chief executive of the Sanac Trust, tells Nicolene de Wee about a new plan to fight HIV, TB and STIs — and her hip-hop dance moves

“In my heart I scream”: Involve young people in decision-making about their lives

Laws on access to sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and age of consent to sexual activity in many countries do not adequately serve the needs of young people and even when they are progressive, they are often not well implemented

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Wheeling and dealing for a Covid-19 vaccine

A Covid-19 jab could cost hundreds of rands. Or not. It’s anyone’s guess. Could another pandemic almost a century ago hold clues for handling the coronavirus today?

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…