LISBON and MAPUTO (27 May 2023) – Lisbon Mayor Carlos Moedas and Maputo Mayor Eneas Comiche signed a bilateral agreement today to facilitate bidirectional exchanges as the two municipalities strive to attain the Fast-Track Cities initiative’s HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis targets by 2030.

Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and Fast-Track Cities Institute, joined the signing ceremony virtually. IAPAC Vice President for Regional Relations Gonçalo Lobo countersigned the agreement on behalf of IAPAC during the Lisbon segment of the ceremony alongside with Dr. Rui Portugal, General Director of Health of the country’s Directorate of Health. Dr. Michel Kouakou, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Country Director for Mozambique, countersigned the agreement on behalf of UNAIDS during the Maputo segment of the ceremony.

In his virtual remarks, Dr. Zuniga applauded the first formal, language-specific bilateral partnership between two municipalities in the Fast-Track Cities network, indicating that such partnerships are in negotiations with other Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola, Brazil, and Cape Verde.

“The power of language is one of the main drivers for implementing bilateral cooperation. Our aim is to create a sub-network of Portuguese-speaking Fast-Track Cities that allows them to learn from and assist each other to attain cross-cutting goals, objectives, and targets,” Dr. Zuniga said. “Given Portugal is the host country, and often the European entry point, for migrants from African Lusophone countries as well as Brazil, this partnership also aims to narrow the gap between origin and host countries for people living with and affected by HIV who cannot navigate the healthcare systems in their host countries.”

The real-world concerns of migrant populations in relation to HIV is the focus of “I Feel Unwelcome, Vulnerable, and Helpless” – Navigating HIV Access for Key Population Migrants in Europe,” a satellite symposium that will be hosted by the African Advocacy Foundation at this year’s Fast-Track Cities 2023 conference in Amsterdam.