Dhaka, March 15: The 12th International Congress on AIDS in Asia Pacific region has successfully concluded. The Congress was attended by 2500 delegates from 56 countries accounting for 70% of world’s population.
Alongside Scientific and Academic Tracks, huge representation from the AIDS Community affected by AIDS which included PLHAs (People Living with HIV/AIDS); CSWs (Commercial Sex Workers); LG BT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals and Transgender people); MSMs(Men having Sex with Men); and IDUs( Injecting Drug Users), deliberated on the issues, rights, practices, opportunities and challenges and contributed to strengthening AIDS response roadmap which was reflected in the Dhaka Declaration. .
Bangladesh is leading the battle against HIV/AIDS in the Asia Pacific region. Hon’ble Health Minister of Bangladesh in his closing speech said “Bangladesh has been a global pioneer in AIDS prevention. Bangladesh initiated AIDS awareness and support programmes in 1985 when the first HIV case was reported and the country succeeded in containing the HIV epidemic. We will protect our citizens from HIV so that we pave the way for an AIDS-free Bangladesh and remain an example for Asia Pacific region as well as the world.”
Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Hon’ble Finance Minister of Bangladesh said “Human life is very precious and we have to nurture it any cost Bangladesh is categorized as a low prevalence country but take AIDS response seriously because every citizen matters.” Further, Bangladesh has aligned its AIDS response programmes with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework and is confident of emerging as the first AIDS-free nation in the world.
Earlier two global actors were conferred with awards by the ICAAP12. A lifetime achievement award was conferred on Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland; and a Recognition Award to the Global Fund for Fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, Switzerland for their extensive support for strengthening global AIDS response. Mr. Mouly Ieng, Senior Minister, National AIDS Authority, Kingdom of Cambodia was presented with Asia Pacific Health Leadership Award for his contribution to the strengthening the AIDS response in Cambodia. This is a very significant gesture from the ICAAP12 organizers to recognize the efforts of the key global and regional AIDS response personalities for their leadership and contribution towards strengthening the AIDS response.
The 12th congress (ICAAP12) came out with a Dhaka Declaration which is a road map for rejuvenating AIDS response. Mr. Zahid Maleque, State Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Bangladesh presented the Dhaka Declaration which was approved, adopted and ratified by the ICAAP12 delegates unanimously amidst thunderous applause.
According to Dr. Joe Thomas, Secretary General of the Congress, ICAAP12 is the second largest global forum on AIDS venturing to bridge the science and community to sharpen the AIDS response in the region.
Dr. Sunil George, Chief Rapporteur summarized the outcomes of the plenaries, 9 sub tracks and various Abstract, Oral, Symposium and Poster sessions which form the framework of the Dhaka Declaration.
Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare thanked the participants and partners for making the congress a huge success.