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Source: PR Newswire

Pre-International Indigenous Conference on HIV and AIDS, prior to AIDS 2016


DURBAN, South Africa, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The leaders of the International Indigenous Work Group on HIV and AIDS (IIWGHA), from Mexico, the United States, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, announced the organization of the Sixth Pre-International Indigenous Conference on HIV and AIDS, called Vindication of indigenous voices: Our lives, our health, our future, which will be held in Durban, just before the International Conference AIDS 2016 to be held in Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on July 16 and 17, 2016.

This pre-conference affiliated to AIDS 2016 emphasizes on native peoples of South Africa to explore in their communities the Indigenism in Africa and HIV. It is an opportunity for indigenous peoples to share wise and promissory practices, learning from each other and building relationships through the continents, cultures, traditions and languages.

Many of the countries represented by IIWGHA have a history of colonization and they are now rediscovering their traditions to value a collaborative and culturally appropriate response to HIV and AIDS. The responses include traditional healing, holistic medicine, ceremonies and practices, with scientific medicine.

“South Africa is an important host country, as it is going through the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with an estimate of 6,19 million people living with the virus”, stated Ken Clement, Co-chair of IIWGHA for Canada. “As in many member countries of IIWGHA, the indigenous population of South Africa has the highest representation”.

Marama Pala, Co-chair of IIWGHA for New Zealand added, “We have first hand understanding about the importance of the indigenous connection to a traditional territorial base, the displacement of that territory and the way in which the laws displace indigenous peoples that end up abandoned”.

Indigenous peoples that live with HIV and AIDS, service providers, researchers, lawmakers, funders and community leaders of all over the world – both indigenous and non-indigenous – will meet in Durban, South Africa, to celebrate, design strategies and relate professionally, in order to prepare a response to HIV and AIDS led by indigenous people.


For more than two decades, indigenous leaders and peoples all over the world have worked together to create the International Indigenous Work Group on HIV and AIDS and to develop a unified voice for indigenous peoples in a collective action against HIV/AIDS, through the creation of partnerships with governments, indigenous leaders, research organizations and AIDS related organizations.

To get more information: Contact with the media:  Shelley Mantei, Mediatonic PR, 1.604.649.2893,

SOURCE Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)

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