MEDIA STATEMENT
To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Health Minister Recovers From COVID-19, leads delegation to International AIDS Conference in Canada

Pretoria: Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla has this week resumed his normal duties
following his recovery from COVID-19 pandemic after completing 7 days of selfisolation without further symptoms and severe complications.

Minister Phaahla tested positive for COVID-19 last week (Tuesday, 19 July) after
experiencing minor symptoms, and immediately self-isolated. The recovery comes
ahead of his scheduled international business trip to lead the South African delegation
to attend the 24th International AIDS Conference to be held from 29 July to 2 August
2022, in Montreal, Canada.

The South African delegation consists of health professionals, policy makers,
members of the South African National AIDS Council and leaders of civil society
organisations working to prevent new HIV infections and scale up access to treatment
and related health services for people with HIV.

South Africa has been participating in the International AIDS Conference for the past
two decades, and this is the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS which brings
together scientists, clinicians, academics, healthcare workers and people living with
HIV, Non-Governmental Organisations and media from across the world under one
roof to share progress made in the fight against the pandemic and best practices,
innovations to prevent the spread new infections.

Minister Phaahla will join and participate in a number of satellite sessions including the
discussions around “Moving forward with actions: 90/90/90 recovery towards
95/95/95” to be led by Dr Thembisile Xulu – Chief Executive Officer of SANAC. He will
also use this opportunity to hold bilateral meetings his counterparts from other
countries, executive leaders of development and donor funding organisations
including PEPFAR and Global Fund.

Amongst the key topics to be discussed during the conference; Re-engage and follow
the science panel discussion to be co-chaired by Prof Linda-Gail Bekker – Director of
the Desmund Tutu HIV Centre at the University of Cape Town the launch of the global
alliance initiative to end AIDS in Children by 2030, The Approaches for HIV cure and
vaccine research and the Roundtable discussions on the future of HIV media
coverage.

Other topics of interest include: The new WHO Strategies for a sustainable health
sector response for 2030 and beyond, Expanding COVID-19 Vaccine coverage among
people living with HIV & key populations, and The next frontier for HIV treatment
optimization – Lessons from the past and visions for the future.

For more information & media enquiries, please contact:

Foster Mohale
Director Media Relations
National Health Department
Cell: 072 4323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Nelson Dlamini
Communications Manager
South African National AIDS Council
Cell: 078 731 0313
nelson@sanac.org.za