The 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) themed: Africa: Ending AIDS-delivering differently was the biggest AIDS conference in Africa in 2017. It brought together over 10,000 delegates from all over the world in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Our Participation Highlights
- The Sexual Health and Rights Institute – Dance4Life was part of the team that facilitated a two-day residential Institute for SRHR of young key populations organized by AMSHeR – African Men for Sexual Health and Rights. We incorporated Dance4Life’s methodology to help the participants design their own solutions.
- ICASA Young Key Populations Pre-Conference – The theme ‘Onto the African Map: Youth Key populations and HIV’ aimed to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the vulnerabilities to HIV infection and SRH issues. The greater call was to increase the level of inclusion between adolescents and young people in all spheres. This was especially due to the dwindling resources, duplication of effort amongst programmers and donor community and piecemeal interventions.
- Addressing a blind spot in the HIV response: Reaching out to Men and Boys – This year’s ICASA switched the conversation to focus on the adolescent boy, who has been left behind. Our Regional Liaison’s participation in the WHO session on involving boys and the simultaneous launch of the UNAIDS report, the BLINDSPOT, placed emphasis on the new frontier as having inclusivity in the programming.’
- West and Central Africa left behind in the HIV response – ICASA 2017 was the launching pad of the UNICEF/UNAIDS report (Step up the Pace: Towards an AIDS-free generation in West and Central Africa). It showed West and Central Africa (WCA) regions as one of the world’s highest HIV burdens among children and adolescents, second only to Eastern and Southern Africa. The new report shows that West and Central Africa is lagging behind on nearly every measure of HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes for children and adolescents. Yet, due to its lower HIV prevalence rate, the epidemic has received less attention than in other regions. More than four decades into the HIV epidemic, four in five children living with HIV in West and Central Africa are still not receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy, and AIDS-related deaths among adolescents aged 15-19 are on the rise.