HEAIDS Satellite Session at the SA AIDS Conference 2019
In June this year, HEAIDS conducted a satellite session at the SA AIDS Conference 2019, held at the Durban ICC. The session, entitled Youth, Health & Wellness: Innovation towards controlling the HIV & AIDS epidemic, addressed the need to focus on the structural drivers of the HIV epidemic as a holisitc approach in the face of the many challenges that South African youth are facing, including poverty, unemployment, under-education, unplanned pregnancies, gender-based violence, substance abuse and mental health issues. Addressing HIV in youth requires innovative interventions and some of the novel ways in which we are addressing HIV and youth access to wider health services were explored. Presenters included HEAIDS CEO, Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia; Chair of SA AIDS conference and NWU Deputy VC: Research & Innovation, Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya; SAUS President, Mr Misheck Mugabe; SANAC Co-Chairperson & LGBTQI Activist, Ms Steve Mmapaseka Letsike; Deputy Regional Director at UNFPA, Ms Beatrice Mutali; and Senior Strategic Information Adviser: UNAIDS, Dr Ali Feizzadeh. The session was attended by over 300 people as one of the most well attended satellite sessons, particularly with HIV amongst youth being one of the hot topics throughout the conference and once again showcasing HEAIDS' novel approach to addressing health and wellness amongst South Africa's youth.