On 08 December 2013, the Cape Town International Convention Centre was a hive of activity as the doors opened on the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) 2013.
ICASA, the biggest HIV conference in Africa, offers civil society organisations from across the African continent the chance to discuss, deliberate and share the latest news, activities and practices relating to HIV, AIDS, STIs and Human Rights.
With this year’s theme, “Now more than ever, Targeting Zero”, the focus was on exploring ways to achieve Zero AIDS related deaths, Zero discrimination and to apply the ‘Zero’ theme in all aspects of HIV and TB work. In line with the conference theme, ARASA and the AIDS Legal Network hosted the second ever Human Rights Networking Zone at an ICASA conference under the banner of “Now More than Ever: Human Rights at the Centre of the HIV Response in Africa.
The Human Rights Networking Zone, which was officially opened by Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court, was located at the Global Village and hosted a series of panel discussions, skills building sessions, and “meet the experts” sessions over the four days of the conference. Topics covered included a variety of human rights issues in relation to sex work, LGBTI sexual and reproductive health, people who use drugs, gender based violence, TB and the provision of HIV-related legal services. ARASA also had an exhibition booth in the Exhibition Hall where partner’s IEC material was on display. This included human rights reports and other publications.