On 10 May, the V DREAM International Conference entitled “Long live Africa: defeating AIDS and malnutrition” was held in Rome in the splendid setting of Rospigliosi Palace, a stone’s throw away from the Quirinale.
The conference saw the participation of ministers for health and their representatives from many Sub-Saharan African countries (Angola, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Republic of Guinea, Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania), as well as representatives of the Italian government (Minister for Health, Livia Turco, and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Patrizia Sentinelli), of international organisations (Kevin De Cock, director of the World Health Organisation Department of HIV/AIDS, Joy Phumaphi, vice-president of the World Bank), of the scientific world (Karin Nielsen of the Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases, of the University of California of Los Angeles, and Stefano Vella, director of the Department of Drug Research and Evaluation of the Italian National Institute of Health, among others) of finance (Corrado Passera, delegate administrator of the Banca Intesa San Paolo), of cooperation (on behalf of the Agence Francaise de Developement and others).
The meeting has now become a fixed appointment – this was the fifth year it was held – but nonetheless important and certainly not taken for granted, as the words of guests and speakers revealed. In fact, as DREAM celebrates its fifth anniversary, esteem for the programme is growing, and so is agreement with its aims and working methodologies, and the desire to see the programme become a reality in many more African countries. DREAM is increasingly becoming a vision of hope, capable of indicating concrete directions towards a feasible future. The growth of the programme’s presence in the African continent, the way it has taken root in ever new contexts, the loyalty to treatment over the past five years, all these factors speak for themselves.
The five years of DREAM were recalled by running through its development and work for the renewal of a continent that has translated into the restitution of life and hope to tens of thousands of people, the redemption of so many sick people, and the birth of many children born healthy to HIV-positive mothers.
The journey travelled in these years, however, calls for new ties between