“HIV treatment is a game-changer” was one of the main messages from participants at a key session on Scaling up HIV treatment in Africa: 2015 and beyond.
Held at the XVII International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) on 8 December, the session explored strategies for scaling up access to HIV treatment in Africa to achieve the goal of universal access. Participants discussed how to leverage the current moment of opportunity in the global HIV response to lay the groundwork for the end of the AIDS epidemic.
Panelists included Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director; Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Caroline Ryan, Deputy Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR); Catherine Hara, Minister of Health, Malawi; Kenly Sikwese, Coordinator, AFROCAB; and Brian Williams, Chair of the Board of Trustees, SACEMA. About 800 representatives from international organizations, political groups, scientists and civil society representatives attended the meeting.
From 2006 to 2012 the number of people accessing ART in Africa rose from slightly more than 1 million to 7.6 million, a 400% increase. While much progress has been made, the continent is facing new challenges in its advance towards universal access to HIV treatment.