Wed. Jul 10th, 2024

The need for country ownership of HIV programmes, the opportunities, and challenges of addressing the HIV epidemic in Francophone Africa, and the needs of people living with HIV to support patient-centered HIV programmes were the focus of a plenary session.

The African HIV Control Working Group (HCWG) organized a plenary session on the theme “Africans leading the fight against HIV: dream or reality.” This was during the International Francophone Conference on HIV Hepatitis, Sexual Health, and Emerging Infections, recently held at the Yaoundé Conference Centre, Cameroon.

The 12th AFRAVIH Conference was an opportunity for researchers and decision-makers in the French-speaking world to come together to discuss the latest scientific developments, but also for organizations and communities to decide how best to continue the fight against discrimination and achieve equal access to treatment for all.

Dr. Magda Robalo Correia Silva (Co-Chair of the HCWG & President/Co-Founder of the Institute for Global Health & Development) moderated the session. Dr. Achidi Ngu Jude (Chief Medical Officer, Holy Cross International College) and Mr. Kevin Ambah Evina (Executive Director, Affirmative Action NGO) were the speakers, followed by Dr. Sihaka Tsemo (Director, Liaison Office to AU and UNECA, UNAIDS) and Dr. Adjafi Danielle (Technical Advisor to the Vice President of Côte d’Ivoire) as panelists.

During the three days of the scientific meeting, a series of plenary sessions and roundtable discussions on specific thematic issues were organized, interspersed with exhibition stands showcasing the work of key stakeholders at all levels in the fields of HIV, hepatitis, sexual health, and emerging infections, as well as scientific poster presentations by researchers.

It was a unique opportunity for the HCWG to make its first appearance at such a large scientific forum, which mobilized thousands of participants from different sectors of the HIV response in Francophone Africa and beyond since its creation in 2023.

The HCWG aims to develop a shared vision of how countries in Africa can prepare for a long-term, sustainable HIV response.

HCWG is an independent organization comprising 12 African experts with diverse backgrounds in HIV program implementation, research and academia, policy and advocacy, and community engagement. It seeks to serve as an authoritative African voice for a sustainable HIV response and envisions African leadership to end AIDS as a public health threat.

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