Sonke Gender Justice and MenEngage Africa to participate in the 21st Edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA)

Sonke Gender Justice, in collaboration with MenEngage Africa and Southern Africa AIDS Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), will host 2 (two) high-level side events at the 21st Edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA). This crossbreed (in-person and virtual). The high-level side events will take place on December 07 and 09, 2021 at The Edward Hotel, Durban, South Africa.

The high-level side events at the 21st Edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) will bring together, traditional leaders, activists, policymakers and programmers from civil society organisations, faith-based organisations from across Africa, people living with HIV& AIDS and others committed to ending the epidemic. ICASA presents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it. 

Despite a global commitment to preventing new HIV infections and ensuring that all HIV-positive people have access to HIV treatment, the Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world’s most vulnerable communities and jeopardizing global progress toward HIV eradication. As a result, the workshop will be held to address these concerns.

The workshop focus will include the following: 

  • Advocacy A Reality; Engaging With Policymakers For Transformation and Amplifying Unheard Voices: Inclusion For Persons With Disabilities In The Aids Response
  • Finding the Balance; Perspectives From Religious and Traditional Leaders and Accelerating Service Uptake: The Role Of Religion and Tradition In The AIDS Response.

Workshop Overview

The hybrid Workshop arrangement accommodates the evolving COVID-19-related travel and social gathering restrictions while also allowing communities across the region to reach out to a larger audience. This workshop will be a 2-day hybrid (virtual and physical blend) with cooperating partners: MenEngage Africa, Sonke Gender Justice and SAfAIDS.

Purpose and objectives of the High-level side events

The purpose of the workshop is to (i) strengthen participants’ capacities to effectively engage men as gender equality proponents within the HIV response amid COVID19 and (ii) stimulate networking for collective action to accelerate a gendered HIV response with men and boys actively engaged. Its objectives include:

  • In the midst of COVID-19, improve knowledge and skills for engaging men and boys in localized HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs that are gender-normative and resilient.
  • Have structured dialogue on the major political issues facing the global, regional and national response to HIV.
  • To secure a commitment from religious and traditional leaders to use their platform to promote uptake of services and safer practices
  • To promote a multi-sectoral approach to the AIDS response through partnerships with key stakeholders and community gatekeepers.
  • Catalyse shared learning, evidence and research, good practices and chart a new way forward in HIV programming for men and young boys and share evidence-based learning on how to improve men’s access to HIV services.
  • To establish the challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing HIV/AIDS services 
  1. Finding the Balance and Accelerating the update of HIV services: the role of Religious and Traditional Leaders in HIV response.
  • Date: 07 December 2021
  • Time: 11:00 am-13:00 Southern African Standard Time
  • Registration Link: 
  1. Amplifying voices and making advocacy work: A discussion between policymakers and differently abled women. 
  • Date: 09 December 2021
  • Time: 14:00-16:00 noon Southern African Standard Time
  • Registration Link: 

More Information

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Note to editors

Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation.

MenEngage Africa is part of a global alliance of organisations that engage men and boys to achieve gender equality, promote health, reduce violence and to question and address the structural barriers to achieving gender equality. The alliance consists of 22 country networks spread across East, West, Central and Southern Africa. MEA members work collectively toward advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice in key thematic areas including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), gender-based violence (GBV) & HIV prevention, Child Rights and Positive Parenting and in promoting peace on the continent.