IAPAC Announces Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund

ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences Support Fund with Combined $750,000 Contribution to Support Implementation Science Studies in Fast-Track Cities

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (April 28, 2020) – The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) announced the launch of a Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund today to support clinical and community researchers to conduct studies aimed at identifying optimally effective interventions, policies, and strategies that enhance urban HIV responses. The first round of study grants will be supported by a combined $750,000 investment by ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences, which will be managed by IAPAC in coordination with an international Expert Advisory Committee.

In making the announcement, IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga noted that the rational allocation of limited human and financial resources requires new insights to guide clinical, public health, and financial decision-making among Fast-Track Cities in pursuit of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets.

He indicated the scientific field in which these types of questions are best asked and answered is implementation science, which aims to investigate barriers to the effective implementation of evidence-based interventions for public health impact and to test new approaches to implementing these interventions.

“IAPAC is proud to launch the Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund, with initial support from ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences, as a vehicle to inform local decision-makers to implement interventions, policies, and strategies that can improve HIV prevention and treatment outcomes within urban HIV responses,” said Dr. Zuniga. “The funded studies will examine implementation gaps relevant to optimizing HIV care and prevention continua, without which Fast-Track Cities cannot attain and exceed the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets on a trajectory towards getting to zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths.”

“The incredible progress made in treating and preventing HIV over the past 30 years has saved millions of lives and provided us with the tools needed to end the epidemic. However, without the effective implementation of HIV health services that take into account real-world challenges to ensure all individuals are tested, treated and cared for, our best efforts to end the epidemic will not be successful. ViiV Healthcare is proud to support IAPAC as part of our pioneering commitment to implementation science to bridge the gaps between HIV research and clinical practice,” said Dr. Maggie Czarnogorski, Director of Implementation Science at ViiV Healthcare.

“Gilead is pleased to support IAPAC with the launch of a Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund. We know that it takes more than medicines to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS and are committed to supporting implementation science. The resources will address critical gaps, disparities and stigma to help identify the best interventions for Fast-Track Cities to attain and exceed the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets,” said Mr. Korab Zuka, Vice President of Public Affairs at Gilead Sciences.

The Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund will prioritize the following gaps for study: 1) finding and testing HIV unawares; 2) improving linkage to HIV prevention, care, and support services; 3) promoting the prompt initiation of and adherence to antiretroviral therapy; 4) maximizing retention and long-term engagement in HIV care; 5) improving health-related quality of life and quality of care; 6) addressing disparities in access to/utilization of HIV prevention and care services; 7) optimizing care for unique populations, including children, adolescents and elderly people living with HIV; 8) eliminating stigma and discrimination, notably within health settings; and 9) accelerating uptake of innovative policies and programs, as well as new diagnostics, medicines, and technologies.

The Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund’s international Expert Advisory Committee is comprised of implementation science experts and community researchers. They are tasked with establishing study criteria, reviewing/approving study proposals, and analyzing/translating study results for dissemination across the Fast-Track Cities network. The Expert Advisory Committee is expected to approve Letter of Interest (LOI) guidance that will be made available to interested applicants at www.iapac.org in early May 2020.

About Fast-Track Cities
Fast-Track Cities is a network of more than 300 cities and municipalities striving to their end urban HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis epidemics by 2030.

About the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
With more than 30,000 members globally, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals working to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. IAPAC is also a core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative.