OTTAWA, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada was centre stage at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, where policymakers, researchers and people living with HIV/AIDS from around the globe came together with a common goal of eliminating the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, led the Canadian delegation, which had a unique opportunity to learn about innovative approaches to HIV prevention, testing and treatment and to showcase Canada's contribution to these efforts.
Minister Philpott bolstered collaboration with a variety of partners at several key meetings, including Canadian community-based organizations and researchers and Canada's next generation of scientists. She also met with the South African Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, and with the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mark Dybul.
At the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS pre-conference symposium, the Minister confirmed Canada's commitment to work alongside communities to improve Indigenous health outcomes. In her speaking engagements, the Minister highlighted Canada's support for equity, access and rights for key populations. She also reconfirmed Canada's commitment to reaching global HIV targets.
On Mandela Day, the Minister visited a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project in Eshowe, South Africa where mobile testing and treatment pick-up programs are helping to increase access to these life-saving initiatives. Alongside MSF staff and volunteers, the Minister participated in 67 minutes of community service, a tradition to honour Nelson Mandela's fight for human rights in the country and around the world.
During her time in Durban, the Minister also visited the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in Durban, which houses the Thuthuzela Care Centre, an integrated response centre for victims of sexual violence, and a clinic for treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.
In closing, the Minister called on donor countries to reconfirm their commitment to the Global Fund, for AIDS, turberculosis and malaria ahead of the upcoming Global Fund Replenishment Conference hosted by Canada this September 2016. Canada recently announced a 20% increase in its support to the Global Fund, and will build on the success of the AIDS conference to bring global health leaders together in an effort to respond to three of the world's most devastating diseases.
- Canada has pledged $785 million to the Global Fund for 2017 to 2019, which represents a 20% increase from the previous pledge.
- In 2016-17 the federal government will invest more than $75 million domestically through the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada and the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative.
"The opportunity to bend the curve of the epidemic is before us. It is up to all of us to seize every opportunity so that we may end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Canada is and will continue to be a steadfast partner in making sure these advances and opportunities reach all who need them, and that no one is left behind."
"Canada is pleased to be hosting the Global Fund`s fifth replenishment conference, an historic opportunity to gather global momentum to accelerate progress to end HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by 2030. Canada is also proud to pledge $785 million to the Global Fund for 2017-2019."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200 ; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983