IAPAC has marshalled the coordinated strength of healthcare professionals to the benefit of men, women, and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS for the past 32 years.
The Physicians Association for AIDS Care (PAAC) was established in 1987 as the first organization to support physicians as they struggled to care for people who, given limited treatment options, were quickly dying of AIDS-related complications. PAAC delivered education to US physicians about nutrition, pain management, opportunistic infections, and other complications of HIV disease. It also tackled contentious public policy issues, including publicly confronting the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association over proposed sanctions against HIV-positive healthcare workers following reports that an HIV-positive Florida dentist had likely transmitted HIV to three of his patients. The US Centers for Disease Control ultimately resolved the dispute by issuing less restrictive guidelines that incorporated much of PAAC’s input. At its peak, PAAC represented almost 500 US physicians.
PAAC was the precursor to the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC). The new association was incorporated 1995 to represent HIV-treating physicians and allied healthcare professionals worldwide. Because our international rebirth coincided with the advent of antiretroviral therapy (ART), we conducted educational activities worldwide to strengthen the health workforce’s capacity to deliver HIV care, treatment, and support, including in sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging a network of clinicians that IAPAC has supported since 1999, when we conducted training activities in support of a donation of the antifungal to combat two opportunistic infections in 11 African countries. Our advocacy efforts to scale-up access to ART in resource-constrained countries began a year or two later – well before even the United Nations called for expanding access to and facilitating universal access to ART. At the end of 2012, IAPAC’s membership numbered approximately 8,500 worldwide.
We changed our name to the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care in 1992, but retained the IAPAC acronym, as formal acknowledgement of the contributions made by all providers of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services. IAPAC today represents more than 30,000 clinicians and lay providers delivering services in multiple disease areas, including HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. Our educational, research, technical assistance, and advocacy activities are focused on accelerating the global AIDS response to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. IAPAC is the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative. Launched in 2014, the initiative assists cities to accelerate their urban AIDS responses to attain the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets by 2020. IAPAC is currently assisting more than 125 cities around the world.
IAPAC works with the health professions, academe, government, corporations, community- and faith-based organizations, and affected communities to advance educational, research, technical assistance, and advocacy programming spearheaded by our members. Our work is conducted by a professionally diverse staff and guided by an international Board of Trustees. IAPAC is recognized as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States of America, with affiliates recognized as a Section 21 not-for-profit company in the Republic of South Africa and as a charitable incorporated organization in the United Kingdom.