Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation meet with South African President Jacob Zuma to discuss the future of the AIDS response

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South Africa pledges full support to the Champions

PRETORIA, 14 April 2015—The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation met with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, to discuss strengthening partnerships across politics and the private sector in order to step up the response to the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and across continent..

During the meeting, Mr Zuma declared his continued support for the Champions and their efforts to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

In 2013, an estimated 6.3 million people were living with HIV in South Africa. and HIV prevalence in the country among 15–49 year olds was more than 19%. In the same year, there were 340 000 new HIV infections—a 39% decrease from 2005.

Earlier in the day, the Champions met with the Deputy President of South Africa for a wide-ranging dialogue on the AIDS response.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his thanks to the Champions and assured them of his support both as Deputy President and as the Chair of the South African National AIDS Council.

The Deputy President noted the need to engage young people and committed to scaling up HIV treatment in South Africa over the next five years.

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation was launched in 2008 by Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana. The Champions is a distinguished group of former presidents and influential African leaders committed to an AIDS-free generation. Individually and collectively, the Champions rally and support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. They transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publically and behind the scenes.

The Champions are holding a three-day meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss how they can help accelerate the response to the AIDS epidemic in partnership with governments and the private sector.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic. In 2013, there were 24.7 million [23.5 million—26.1 million] people living with HIV in the region.

 

The Champions are:

  • Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chairperson of the Champions.
  • Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.
  • Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique.
  • Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia.
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré, former President of Mali. 
  • Benjamin William Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba, former President of Namibia.
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
  • Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda. 
  • Edwin Cameron, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
  • Miriam Were, former Chairperson of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council. 

 

Contact

Champions Gaborone | Makhamokha Mohale | +267 74166804 | mohalem@unaids.org

 

Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation

The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation is a distinguished group of former presidents and influential African leaders committed to an AIDS-free generation. Individually and collectively, the Champions rally and support regional leaders towards ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. The Champions transcend political partisanship to speak freely and independently about the issues that need solutions, both publically and behind the scenes. www.aidsfreechampions.org 

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