Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ghana/Tunisia Hosts 2015 Biggest AIDS Conference

Source: SAA

Ghana or Tunisia would be hosting the 18th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and STI’s in Africa in 2015 which is the continents biggest conference on the disease with 10,000 delegate participation.

The countries were shortlisted after a meeting of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) in South Africa, recently.  Congo was the other African country that also met the short listing criteria.

A statement issued from the SAA permanent secretariat in Accra, noted that Tunisia had the highest votes of 964, while Ghana followed with 734 with Congo becoming third with 578, in that order.

“Though all African countries are eligible to host ICASA, they had to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for selection, that is, strong political will; governments should be ready to bear at least 20 percent of the total cost, as well as availability of hotel infrastructure with standard accommodation to contain the 10,000 participants and good roads”.

The selection committee also considered the presence of science leadership, civil societies, organized groups of People Living With HIV (PLWHIV), private sector, and youth organizations and State institutions oriented towards HIV/AIDS coordination and related activities.

The statement further indicated that Tunisia and Ghana after this pre-selection have been presented to SAA Governing Board with their bids for consideration and final selection of any of the countries to host the 18th ICASA in 2015.

“Security situation and political stability in the host country, banking system, no-discriminatory policies against PLWH, as well as gender equality would also be a guiding principle for the SAA Governing Board in their final decision”.

ICASA is in response to the challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS scourge in Africa. The motion for the hosting of the International Conference, on African soil, was moved by prominent African scientists at a meeting in Italy in 1987.

Three years later, the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) was established as the organizational custodian of ICASA. The 17th ICASA takes place in Cape Town, South Africa in December 7th to 11 hence the 18th ICASA would be held in either Tunisia or Ghana.

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