Vice President Chiwenga has confirmed that Victoria Falls would be the venue of the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) should the country succeeds in its bid to host the largest HIV/AIDS summit in Africa in 2023.
Victoria Falls has been upgraded to city status and the government is confident of its capacity to host such an event after previously hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.
According to a local publication, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said Zimbabwe has the capacity to hold the conference.
“We have just concluded our meeting with Dr. Bodea heading a delegation of ICASA. There is going to be a major conference in 2023 next year. There are only two countries left in the bid: Zimbabwe and Kenya. We think we have the capacity to hold this conference. We would want to finish and end the issue of AIDS by 2030.
“For us to end this, we as Africans must be united, hence the importance of this conference. There will be so many delegates coming not only from Africa but from all over the world. We have offered to host it in Victoria Falls which has held such big conferences like the UNWTO and other gatherings of high standards because we have all the facilities.
“Victoria Falls is no longer a town but a city, and we have made our commitments to the team as the Zimbabwe Government as we did in 2015 to make our contributions which might be required for the conference to be a success be it financial, human resources and all other technical things,” said Chiwenga.
ICASA demands that countries intending to host the conference gets approval from their Government’s highest authority before a bid can be formally considered.
Zimbabwe was congratulated by the United Nations for achieving the 90-90-90 targets in HIV control.
This means 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent living with HIV who know their status are on antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of those on treatment have achieved viral suppression. Meeting these targets slashes death rates, and with the growing viral suppression and the high level of awareness of the status and how to achieve suppression, it also slashes transmission rates of HIV.
Now the country is seized with achieving the 95-95-95 targets by 2025.