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ICASA, Africa’s largest AIDS conference will be held in Tunisia, 8 to 13 December 2015

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On behalf of the Society for AIDS in Africa and the organizers of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa 2015 we wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families and friends of our colleague who died at the eve of this world AIDS conference. May the soul of the departed one rest in peace.

The Society for AIDS in Africa the custodian of the International Conference on AIDS and STI in Africa (ICASA), the local host represented by the “ Association Tunisienne deLuttecontre les MST et le SIDA and the Tunisian Government are the core organizers of the 18th Edition of ICASA

Theme of ICASA 2015: AIDS IN POST 2015; Linking Leadership, Science & Human Rights

Date: 22 to 27 November 2015

Venue: Tunisia

The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa is the largest AIDS and bilingual conference English and French organized on the African soil in response to the challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS scourge in our continent. The first edition of ICASA was held in 1986. The theme was AIDS IN AFRICA. Since the first edition the impacts so far are tangible with understanding that much needs to be done. We need to build on the achievement to foster the reality of an AIDS free generation in Africa. The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa has been held in 14 African countries reaching all the five sub-regions of Africa for more than 3 decades. ICASA 2011 Addis Ababa with more than 10,000 delegates from 116 countries witnesses the attendance of the US former Head of state, President George W. Bush who was awarded at the opening ceremony for initiating the PEPFAR.

ICASA 2013 was held in Cape Town with more than 7000 delegates from 55 countries. However, many delegates cancelled their flight due to the call to glory of our legendary and unique leader Nelson Madimba Mandela at the eve of the conference. Over 3000 abstracts were submitted. The theme of the 17th Edition Cape Town is: Now More than Ever, Targeting Zero.

At the first ICASA 2015 steering committee meeting held in Tunisia last month, experts and stakeholders from the international community in considering the new trend of the epidemic in Africa and after an extended deliberation on the logo, the format of ICASA 2015 and reviewed key dates, adopted the following theme for ICASA 2015:

AIDS IN POST 2015: LINKING LEADERSHIP, SCIENCE and HUMAN RIGHTS

This theme engage the whole continent and all stakeholders in the post MDG framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching 90, 90, 90 of UNAIDS will not be possible if Human rights are not key priority for a new vision of leadership in the context of strengthening the application of evidence science base.

The conference will be chaired by Dr Ihab AbdelRhaman Ahmed, an epidemiologist and President of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA). It will be co-chaired by Professor Mohamed Ridha Kamoun, a dermatologist and President of “Association Tunisienne de Luttecontre les MST et le SIDA’’.

‘’ Since ICASA 1993 organized in Marrakech, it is the first time that Northern Africa will be the host of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa’’ says Prof Kamoun, ICASA 2015 vice-chair. It is important to highlight that at the end of 2012, 270,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in the MENA region. Although HIV Prevalence among adult is 0.1%, one of the lowest in the world, however from 2001 to 2012, new infection in the MENA increase by 52% which is the most rapid growth of HIV in the world. Prevalence among MSM is: between 1 and 5% in Lebanon, Morocco and Sudan, between 5% and 9.9% in Egypt and higher than 10% in Tunisia. Prof Kamoun believes that hosting ICASA 2015 in the region will surely help to turn the tide.

‘’The 18th Edition of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs will be held in Tunisia, November 2015. As ICASA Tunisia coincide with the MDG target year, The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa is offering the strategic first forumpost MGD to Leaders, Activists, Scientifics and Community to take stock of the outcomes of the MDG High level Meeting challenges and to pave the way for a new innovative and efficient approach towards and Africa AIDS free generation.We invite the international community, and all Africans to join hands once again and show their solidarity. About 10,000 of the world’s leading scientists, policy makers, activists and civil society leaders are expected to join the debate” says Dr Ihab AbdelRhaman.

Note for the editor:

About The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA)

The Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), the custodian of ICASA was founded in 1989 at the fourth International Symposium on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa (now ICASA) held in Marseille, France by a group of African scientists, activists and advocates in response to this epidemic. SAA envisions an African continent free of HIV, TB and Malaria and their debilitating effects on communal and societal structures, where people are socially and economically empowered to live productive lives in dignity. For more information on SAA please visit www.saafrica.org.

About Association Tunisienne de lutte contre les MST et le SIDA

The Association Tunisienne de Luttecontre les MST et le SIDA was founded in Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia, in 1990, by a group of civil society activist coming from various background and specialties. It is dedicated to raise awareness among the youth and MARPs, provide social support and care to PLWA, and conduct advocacy campaigns towards decision makers for a better and more comprehensive response to STIs and HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tunisia and the Region.www.atl-mstsida.org.tn

At the Press Conference. From left: Dr. Ridha Gataa (President General Director National Board of Family and Population, Tunisia), Mr. Luc Bodea (SAA Coordinator), Dr Ihab AbdelRhaman Ahmed (President  SAA),  and Mr. Anouar Moalla (Director of Freedom House).

At the Press Conference. From left: Dr. Ridha Gataa (President General Director National Board of Family and Population, Tunisia), Mr. Luc Bodea (SAA Coordinator), Dr Ihab AbdelRhaman Ahmed (President SAA), and Mr. Anouar Moalla (Director of Freedom House).

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