Pietermaritzburg’s Gay & Lesbian Network is to participate in the XVII International AIDS Conference from 3 to 8 August in Mexico City.

The director of the Network, Anthony Waldhausen, will be representing the Network at the conference.

The AIDS 2008 theme, Universal Action Now, underscores the continued urgency of the pandemic and aims to highlight the responsibility to take individual and collective action.

The conference will provide scientists, researchers, people living with HIV, civil society leaders and professionals working in the field of HIV/AIDS to share new ideas and to learn from experiences.

It will be the first International AIDS Conference ever held in Latin America and the conference expects 25,000 participants and 3,000 international media.

In addition to the conference sessions there are a number of activities, including satellite meetings, exhibitions, the global village, and the cultural and youth programmes, that are integral to delegates’ experience at the conference.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime to learn from other countries and especially within the LGBTI front. It will also provide me with up-to-date information that will guide our HIV & AIDS policies and programmes,” said Waldhausen.

The Gay & Lesbian Network is actively involved in addressing HIV & AIDS in the Kwazulu-Natal region and participates in various forums and committees such as the Msunduzi Aids Steering committee, the KZN Health Department district forums and the HRSC study into men have sex with men.

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