Beyond Zero was thrilled to be amongst the many public health organisations that participated in the 11th SA AIDS Conference on the 20 – 23 June at the Durban ICC. This was the case as the conference was a host of people who come from communities with lived experiences not only implementors and scientists as it is always valuable to engage on new stories and developments as the last conference was in 2019 due to COVID-19. Beyond Zero colleagues did not only participate as delegates at the conference but were there to present evidenced-based research and presentations in various conference tracks which showcased our commitment to the conference theme to Act, Connect, and End the Pandemic.
Beyond Zero’s CEO said, “The conference provided a learning opportunity for both technical and field teams for learning, networking and an opportunity to translate these into partnerships which may result in the implementation of innovations and best practices in the programme implementation space”.
In his opening address, the Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla said, “More effort is needed to place and retain more people with HIV on treatment. To achieve the 95-95-95 targets, we must initiate an additional 1.4 million people on treatment”. Beyond Zero has been working tirelessly on developing innovative ways of not just initiating but ensuring retention which is an enormous gap in the country. We realize the importance of case management through peer-led interventions for sustained periods and assurance that treatment fatigue becomes a thing of the past. We are looking forward to the treatment literacy framework that will help with retention, eliminate stigma, and prejudice and encourage health-seeking behaviours.