Chairperson of the 9th SA AIDS Conference, Prof Refilwe Phaswana-Mafuya has called on international funders to bring HIV/AIDS back on the funding agenda.

She was speaking at the opening of the congress at the Durban ICC.

Phaswana-Mafuya says the HIV response has been largely funded by international donors and governments, but since the introduction of ARVs, funding has decreased.

She says HIV remains a crisis as the number of new infections, especially among the youth, is still increasing.

“We cannot assume or be satisfied or complacent that the epidemic is over when the statistics tell us a different story. The fact that we have got about 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS across the world; 7,2 million of which are South African, and only about 4,4 million receiving treatment, which is about 60%, means that the other 40% that is still not accessing treatment is left to die.”