International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa
Judy Thorne, ISU-Meridian’s HIV/Hepatitis Education Coordinator attended the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa from July 18-22, 2016. Having been selected to supervise a volunteer work team at the conference, Ms. Thorne assisted in assuring safety, compliance and management of the “Global Village” for the conference where hundreds of NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) from all over the globe were represented as well as political action groups. Attended by over 18,000 delegates, the conference is the largest of its kind in the world. The Global Village not only hosted delegates but was also open to the general public; it was a mecca of constant activity with visits from Prince Harry, Elton John and Bill Gates spreading the word regarding HIV prevention and access to care. This year’s conference focused on the latest in HIV vaccine research, policy and equity for all individuals impacted by HIV and AIDS. South Africa has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world so it served as an invaluable ‘hub’ for such important discussions.