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'I'm positive the world will be free of HIV/Aids one day'

US businessman Bill Gates has joined stakeholders at the 2016 Aids Conference in Durban.

US businessman Bill Gates at the Aids Conference in Durban on 20 July 2016. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

DURBAN - American philanthropist and business magnate Bill Gates says funding is vital in the fight against HIV and Aids and has agreed with international health experts who say South Africa needs financial assistance.

Gates has joined politicians, doctors, activists and policymakers at the 2016 Aids Conference in the Durban.

The annual conference, which South Africa is hosting for the second time since 2000, is aimed at finding ways to tackle the virus.

International health experts have identified South Africa as an important country to fund, saying although South Africa started late with giving HIV positive people access to ARVs, it's done well in ensuring that the treatment is now available to millions of patients.

Experts also say the country needs financial assistance because it's one of the countries with the largest contributions of new infections.

Bill gates says funding to find a vaccine is vital.

He says he is positive the world will be free of HIV and Aids one day.

At the same time, the Global Fund says the time is right for South Africa to start thinking of other creative ways to raise funds to finance its fight against HIV and Aids such as targeted taxation and even money markets.

Pictures by Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

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