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HSRC to Host the Secretariat of the Global HIV Prevention Working Group
Source: HSRC News
Source Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 30, 2011

CEO of the HSRC, Dr Olive Shisana, who is a member of the PWG, said hosting the secretariat would enable the group to identify and advocate ways to optimise HIV prevention, encourage prevention programmes to have maximum impact among populations at highest risk, and to maximise the value of prevention expenditures. 

The overwhelming majority of all infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and 52.8% of all people living with the disease are in Southern Africa. Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence at 25.9%, while South Africa continues to be the epicentre of the epidemic, home to 24.4% of all HIV-positive people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Shisana said: ‘The secretariat will support the PWG in creating some think pieces to inform global and national policy making, programme planning, and donor and country-level decisions on HIV prevention. It will arrange and host face-to-face and teleconference meetings and will oversee all logistical and administrative elements of the PWG’s work. 

‘The PWG – and the broader HIV field – is at a critical juncture. A broader array of validated, well-defined prevention tools are at our disposal now more than ever before. However, declining support for HIV assistance calls into question our ability to effectively use these powerful approaches. 

‘Moreover, the emergence of highly effective prevention strategies underscores the urgent need for a more strategic approach to service prioritisation, resource allocation and impact monitoring, presenting under-resourced countries with potentially difficult challenges.’

The HSRC will collaborate with the PWGs in the USA to undertake a strategic programme of action that unites multiple disciplines and the perspectives of stakeholders from all regions in an effort to encourage use of evidence-based HIV-prevention intervention programmes.

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