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Aurum at 21st ICASA

Aurum at 21st ICASA

Aurum was at the 21st International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA). This year themed; The race to 2030 – Evidence. Scale Up. Accelerate, the conference was held virtually and in-person in Durban. ICASA is the largest HIV/AIDS conference on the continent. It brought leaders, activists and scientists together to take stock of the challenges faced in achieving the UNAIDS global 95-95-95 targets and served as a platform for the HIV/AIDS community to pave the way for efficient innovations towards an HIV free generation and to assess and improve the global framework for ending AIDS by 2030.

Aurum partnered with the World Health Organisation to host a high-level round table discussion on: The Status of TB Prevention in Southern Africa.

Delivering closing remarks, Aurum Group CEO Prof Gavin Churchyard called for more to be done in the fight against TB infection, which is the seedbed from which all TB disease arises, by scaling up TB preventive treatment globally, including in Southern Africa.

“Short course TB preventive treatment regimens, which are safer and are associated with higher treatment completion rates, for people living with HIV and household contacts should be prioritised for scale up. Due to the poor performance in meeting the UN high-level goals set for scaling up TPT, particularly among household contacts, the WHO issued a Call to Action 2.0 to increase investment to expand scale up of TB preventive treatment, TB screening and for research to develop more potent, even shorter regimens,” he said. He added that the symposium provided good insight into what is being done to address drug supply and in-country progress and challenges in implementing TPT.

“I strongly endorse the call to action to intensify efforts to ensure everyone, everywhere, can access effective short course preventive treatment for TB at an affordable price,” said Churchyard.

The South African Health Technologies Advocacy Coalition (SAHTAC) which is hosted by Aurum, also held a webinar on the sidelines of ICASA.  The Coalition, The Coalition for Health Research and Development (CHReaD) and Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) brought experts to assess the state of domestic funding in health research and development in Africa.

In his welcome remarks, Aurum SA CEO Prof Vinodh Edward said it was critical for Africans to build and sustain research and development initiatives in Africa.

Following the webinar panelist Dr Githinji Gitahi, Amref Group CEO continued the conversation on SABC.