Representatives from six cities around the world will convene January 30, 2019, in London for an AIDSFree Cities Forum as part of an AIDSfree campaign. IAPAC is collaborating with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UK Department of Health & Social Care, and the UK Department for International Development to facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices from the six cities as they accelerate their local AIDS responses to fulfill their Fast-Track City commitments.
“The Forum gives us a chance to re-energize all of our allies because we have the tools to beat this [disease], but we all need to be on board,” said IAPAC President/ CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga in an interview published ahead of the Forum by the UK’s Independent newspaper. He added, “We are proud of the work that is being advanced in each of these cities and hope to more broadly communicate their experiences and best practices to the 250-plus Fast-Track Cities network.”
Dr. Zuniga will attend the Forum as a representative of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, which aims to assist cities around the world to attain the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 90-90-90 programmatic targets – getting 90% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, ensuring that 90% of diagnosed people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and having 90% of people living with HIV on ART attaining an undetectable viral load. Achieving zero HIV-related stigma is also an integral part the initiative’s focus since stigma deters access to and utilization of HIV services. He will also moderate the Forum’s closing panel discussion on collaboration and leadership to promote the delivery of measurable outcomes in local AIDS responses.
The six cities represented at the Forum – Atlanta, Delhi, Kyiv, London, Nairobi, and Maputo – have had varying degrees of success in their efforts to achieve the programmatic targets that form the foundation for the Fast-Track Cities initiative, which launched in Paris on World AIDS Day 2014. London is the only one of the six cities to have surpassed the 90-90-90 targets, announcing on World AIDS Day 2018 that it had reached 95-98-97.
Mayors, health department officials, clinicians, and community members from the six cities will discuss other important topics during the one-day Forum, including combination HIV prevention, leaving no one behind, and data and evidence. The Forum’s results will lay the groundwork for the Fast-Track Cities 2019 conference that will be held September 8-11, 2019, in London.