Theme: ‘Accelerating Youth Leadership, Resilience and Innovation towards 2030!’
05 December 2021, Durban, South Africa
The International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA) is the largest HIV and AIDS Conference in Africa. The event is a major bilingual international AIDS Conference which takes place in Africa. The Society for AIDS in Africa, organizers of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) have partnered with the Government of South Africa to host ICASA 2021 in Durban, South Africa, from 6th – 11th December 2021. ICASA 2021 will be a hybrid conference which has incorporated the three approaches of innovation, adaptability, and flexibility to ensure that global engagements still take place in view of COVID 19. The Conference is estimated to be attended by more than 5,000 members in 56 countries.
The convening of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA 2021) in Durban ICC, South Africa in December 2021, represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it. In an inclusive context, according to the 2020 Global Fund COVID 19 Funding report, the emergence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the most vulnerable communities around the world and threatens progress made in mitigating the impact of HIV, TB and malaria globally.
Through grant savings and reprogramming of HIV, TB, and malaria programs, over US$500 million has been allocated to the COVID-19 Response Mechanism. As such, this creates a gap in the fight to mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB, and malaria programmes, leading to fragile health systems being overwhelmed. A disease like COVID-19 threatens us all. However, we must not relent in our goal for an AIDS free Africa.
It is imperative for the continent to rely on the dynamics of recent scientific advances, on a plea that will respond to a mobilization of internal and endogenous resources. The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for all working in the field of Health as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It will be a tremendous opportunity for researchers, clinicians, communities, and civil society actors from Africa and around the world to share the latest scientific advances, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to end AIDS by 2030.
ICASA 2021 is organized with the government of South Africa under the theme: Africa’s AIDS Response: The Race to 2030 - Evidence. Scale up. Accelerate. The government of South Africa is therefore committed to ensuring that all conference delegates adhere to the Covid-19 safety and preventive protocols. The conference will be held from 6th to 11th December 2021.
The Youth Pre-conference is an integral part of the ICASA conference ICASA 2021 is organised by the ICASA 2021 Youth Pre-Conference organizing committee established by the ICASA secretariat. The Youth Committee consists of diverse youth-led organisations and partners working to engage, reach and amplify the experiences of young people, including adolescents and young women and key populations with interventions and innovations towards ending AIDS by 2030.
It is a focused meeting that provokes intellectual discussion among young people including high level speakers, Youth, and other partners on specific topics around the theme ‘Accelerating Youth Leadership, Resilience and Innovations towards 2030.The youth Pre-conference also hosts workshops on discussing critical issues, policy, and programming processes in the field of HIV, TB and emerging diseases as it prepares youth delegates for the main conference.
The ICASA 2021 Youth Pre-conference organizing committee includes the Students and Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT), The African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population (AfriYAN), Education As a Vaccine (EVA), The PACT, Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global), and other organizations.
ICASA 2021 Youth Pre-conference seeks to achieve the following objectives.
- Stimulate discussions on and amplify youth leadership and innovation in Africa’s AIDS response
- Share best practices on youth led and youth centered "response" on HIV, SRHR, Malaria, TB and other emerging diseases
- Build capacity of youth participants HIV policy and programming to actively participate in the ICASA 2021 Conference
- Celebrate and expand on the Meaningful Youth Engagement and Leadership in the HIV response in Africa
The ICASA 2021 Youth Pre-Conference will be organized as a physical platform on the 5th of December in Durban, South Africa. It will be open to all young people and officially registered ICASA 2021 participants. It will host breakout sessions, workshops, and discussions around the theme in the build up towards the main conference.
It begins with an opening ceremony with a series of activities and an opening plenary. It then transitions into breakout sessions where young people break-out into different topics under the conference team to explore, learn, share, and build their capacities in HIV, SRHR and other issues.
Participants then reconvene for a closing ceremony where all discussions are put into perspective moving into the main conference. All critical discussions throughout the youth pre-conference are then presented in the Youth Declaration.
A maximum 200 youth delegation is expected to participate in the physical conference with proof of COVID-19 vaccination. There will be opportunities to Live Stream and Broadcast the proceedings in Durban through different social media platforms to benefit more young people from different countries.
Partner youth organisations in different countries have an opportunity to arrange physical meetings in different countries where young people can attend to follow the proceedings taking place in Durban. Arrangements for ICT facilities will be made at the venues in the different countries to connect to the Conference in Durban. An additional 500 youth delegation is expected to attend through the in-country virtual platforms.