Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

#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

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Micro-hydropower lights up an Eastern Cape village

There is hidden potential for small hydropower plants in South Africa

MK committee to look into Gupta influence in military veteran’s...

Party insiders say a report on the Guptas’ association with leaders of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association will help rid the structure of Jacob Zuma’s most loyal allies

More top stories

There is shit in the Hennops River: ‘No way you...

E.Coli counts in tributaries feeding the Hennops River run into tens of millions, far above the permitted limit

DarkSide: Following the money in the crypto age

Ransomware is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency-related crime. Known payments to ransomware attackers rose 337% from 2019 to 2020, when they reached over R5.4-billion worth of cryptocurrency

Naspers and Prosus in share swap Catch-22

Asset managers are concerned about the share exchange but others welcome it because Naspers has dominated the JSE

As South Africa’s Covid infections surge, the number of jabs...

Hospitals are under strain, nurses are burning out and infections are on the rise, but there are limited Covid-19 vaccine doses available

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…