COVID-19 Disruptions in HIV Services Highlighted During 90-90-90 Targets Update

IAPAC

COVID-19-Related Disruptions in HIV Services

Highlighted during 90-90-90 Targets Update

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (July 1, 2020) – Representatives from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organization (WHO), and International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) expressed concern today about COVID-19-related disruptions in the continuity of HIV services. They spoke during a session at the sixth annual 90-90-90 Targets Update, which IAPAC co-hosted with UNAIDS and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) on June 30-July 1, 2020, as an AIDS 2020 Virtual pre-conference. The session was entitled, “Lost Time: Recovering from COVID-19’s Impact on the Global HIV Response.”

IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga presented data from a survey of more than 500 clinicians treating people living with HIV (PLHIV). In addition to quantifying that 53% of respondents are managing patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the survey revealed COVID-19-related disruptions in access to HIV services, including antibody testing (35%), antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation (29%), and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) initiation (31%). Similarly, Dr. Meg Doherty, Director of the WHO’s Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis, and STI Programs, cited data from a survey of 99 countries reporting partial or complete disruptions across 25 different health services, including continuation of established ART (32%), tuberculosis case detection and treatment (42%), and treatment of mental health disorders (61%).

“Any disruption to HIV and health services can turn a local crisis into a humanitarian catastrophe, which we are all trying to avoid,” said Dr. Zuniga. “The global HIV community is focused on leveraging innovation, facilitating community engagement, and prioritizing human rights to mitigate potential harm to people living with and affected by HIV. Sustained access to quality health services is vital to ending the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics.”

Differentiated service delivery, multi-month drug dispensing, and telemedicine platforms were among the innovations cited by Dr. Angeli Achrekar, Principal Deputy US Global AIDS Coordinator, during a presentation about PEPFAR’s efforts to maintain the continuity of HIV services in more than 50 countries. In addition to echoing the need for innovation in the context of COVID-19, Dr. Shannon Hader, UNAIDS’s Deputy Executive Director, Programs, stressed the importance of applying lessons from the global HIV response, notably protecting human rights and facilitating community engagement, including by utilizing community organizations as essential service providers.

The 90-90-90 Targets Update, which was made possible through support from Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare, also featured seven other sessions, including separate sessions focused on national and municipal progress towards achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Launched in 2014, the programmatic targets call for 90% of PLHIV to know their status, 90% of PLHIV who know their status to access ART, and 90% of PLHIV on ART to achieve viral suppression.

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About the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)

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 Retrofits Fast-Track Cities Dashboards to Visualize COVID-19 Data and Resources

IAPAC Retrofits Fast-Track Cities Dashboards to Visualize COVID-19 Data and Resources

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (April 20, 2020) – The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), in partnership with Dure Technologies and the Fast-Track Cities Institute, is retrofitting its Fast-Track City dashboards to visualize confirmed COVID-19 case, death, and recovery data alongside existing municipal-level HIV data the dashboards have visualized since 2015. In addition to the COVID-19 data, the retrofitted dashboards will map COVID-19-related services and illustrate COVID-19 data trends.

The first two retrofitted Fast-Track City dashboards launched today are for the cities of London and New York City. Additional retrofitted dashboards will be launched later this week, available via the Fast-Track Cities Global Web Portal. Following are links to the London and New York City dashboards:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting health systems in urban centers and its impact can be measured in lives endangered and too many lives tragically lost,” said IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga, who is Chair of the Fast-Track Cities Institute. “By retrofitting city dashboards, we remain true to a central tenet of the Fast-Track Cities initiative: data-driven action. Visualizing a city’s COVID-19 data reinforces local public health measures to mitigate new SARS-CoV-2 infections. Mapping COVID-19-related services is also public service to complement efforts by local health departments to communicate critical public health resources and other information.”

“We are proud to partner with IAPAC and the Fast-Track Cities Institute to leverage Fast-Track Cities dashboards to serve the public good at a time of suffering caused by the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vipin Yadav, CEO of Dure Technologies, the Fast-Track Cities initiative’s IT partner. “While we hope local COVID-19 epidemics subside in the near future, we believe cutting-edge technology is key to advancing public health initiatives. We are prepared to continue delivering this public service to Fast-Track Cities for the foreseeable future.”

COVID-19 and HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis Education

While there are not enough data today to determine whether people living with HIV are at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, people who have underlying conditions, including infectious diseases, are at greater potential risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Moreover, preliminary results of an IAPAC survey of HIV-treating clinicians indicate disruptions in prevention, care, treatment, and psychosocial services being delivered to people living with and at-risk for HIV. The Fast-Track Cities initiative, through IAPAC, is coordinating a series of educational webinars to educate clinicians and allied healthcare providers in Fast-Track Cities about evidence-based recommendations for managing COVID-19 for people living with HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and/or viral hepatitis.

Following the postponement of its planned Adherence 2020 conference in June 2020 due to COVID-19-related restrictive measures, IAPAC will also host a virtual Adherence 2020 pre-conference from 12-5 pm ET, May 6, 2020, focused on the “Continuity of HIV Care in the Presence of COVID-19.” Moderated by Dr. Zuniga with welcome remarks by Dr. Shannon Hader, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the pre-conference will feature from clinician and community experts. To register online or for more information about the pre-conference, visit: https://www.iapac.org/conferences/adherence-2020-virtual-pre-conference/

Additionally, IAPAC is maintaining a repository of regularly updated evidence-based COVID-19 resources and recommendations, which can be accessed on the IAPAC website at: https://www.iapac.org/hiv-covid-19/

Fast-Track City Dashboards

Since 2015, IAPAC has developed city dashboards through support from multiple grantors, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, Merck & Co., President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and ViiV Healthcare.

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 and serves as the Secretariat for the Fast-Track Cities Institute. 

IAPAC Announces Fast-Track Cities Implementation Science Fund

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. 

IAPAC, UN-Habitat Partner to End Urban HIV, TB, HCV Epidemics

UN-Habitat logo

 

IAPAC

 

 

 

IAPAC, UN-Habitat Partner to End Urban HIV, TB, HCV Epidemics

Memorandum of Understanding Signed at 10th World Urban Forum

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (February 12, 2020) – The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the United Nations Programme on Human Settlements (UN-Habitat) announced a new partnership today to strengthen the efforts of Fast-Track Cities to end their urban HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis epidemics within the context of Sustainable Development Goal 11 (to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable). Today’s announcement coincided with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IAPAC and UN-Habitat at the 10th World Urban Forum.

“Addressing the need for people to live in cities that are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable is essential to ending the HIV, TB, and viral epidemics.” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, IAPAC President/CEO, who signed the MoU today alongside Mr. Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat. “Through this partnership with UN-Habitat we embark on a ‘Decade of Action’ to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality within the context of the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities and the New Urban Agenda.”

By signing the MoU, IAPAC and UN-Habitat agree to engage in joint advocacy and best practice-sharing among Fast-Track Cities regarding the health-related priorities in the New Urban Agenda, which was adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, in 2016, and endorsed by the UN General Assembly that same year. The New Urban Agenda outlines global principles, policies, and standards required to achieve sustainable urban development. The IAPAC and UN-Habitat partnership will also prioritize the collection and dissemination of programmatic and other data to enhance public health interventions.

“Thriving cities must be healthy cities and this collaboration with IAPAC brings on board experts from the two agencies to address a core issue of getting cities on that last mile towards ending their HIV epidemics. Cities must have the knowledge, technology, data, and funding that can ensure that no one and no community is left behind,” said Mr. Victor Kisob.

The 10th World Urban Forum is convened by UN-Habitat to promote sustainable urban development. This year’s forum theme is “Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation.”

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. 

About UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future.  Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable and inclusive human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

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. 

NYC and Geneva Surpass UNAIDS 90-90-90 HIV Targets

NYC and Geneva Surpass UNAIDS 90-90-90 HIV Targets
Fast-Track Cities Release New HIV Testing and Treatment Data

Washington, DC, USA (December 2, 2019) – Health officials in New York City, NY, USA, and the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, announced today that these two cities have surpassed the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets. The Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities calls for attaining and surpassing the targets, which translate into 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their status, 90% of PLHIV who know their status accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of PLHIV on ART achieving viral suppression.

New York City, which became a Fast-Track City in 2016, is the first Fast-Track City in the United States to surpass the 90-90-90 targets by attaining 93-90-92. By attaining 90-96-93, the Canton of Geneva becomes the fifth European municipality to reach this important milestone, joining the cities of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Brighton, UK; London, UK; and Manchester, UK. The Canton of Geneva was among the 26 initial cities and municipalities to join the Fast-Track Cities network in 2014.

“The attainment of these global programmatic targets by New York City and the Canton of Geneva marks a momentous milestone on any Fast-Track City’s journey towards ending its HIV epidemic,” said IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga. “We congratulate the political and public health leaders, clinicians and services providers, and community members who have made these achievements possible. We also encourage their ongoing efforts to get to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma by 2030.”

As a core partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, IAPAC today launched new interactive data dashboards made possible through support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and ViiV Healthcare. The dashboards illustrate baseline 90-90-90 data for eight Fast-Track Cities:

Fast-Track City (2018 data) Know Status On ART Virally Suppressed
Columbia, SC, USA 84% N/A* 85%
Fulton County (Atlanta), GA, USA 84% 87% 82%
Jefferson County (Birmingham), AL, USA 84% 76% 83%
Kampala, Uganda 59% 98% 93%
Lagos, Nigeria 66% 99% 84%
Washington, DC, USA 87% 78% 85%
Windhoek, Namibia 85% 89% 73%
Yaoundé, Cameroon 74% 87% N/A*

*N/A:  Data are not currently generated

“Fast-Track Cities can only accelerate their HIV responses to achieve the 90-90-90 targets if they know their local epidemics – notably the gaps across the HIV care continuum,” said Dr. Zuniga. “That is why data-driven, equity-based HIV responses are at the heart of ending urban HIV epidemics by 2030, and a priority for technical assistance to Fast-Track Cities.”

These eight municipalities whose data dashboards were launched today are among a total of 42 Fast-Track Cities that are reporting new or updated 90-90-90 data this year. Several of these cities and municipalities have reported significant progress since the year they reported their baseline data, including:

  • Bangkok, Thailand, which went from 79-57-79 (2016) to 92-78-76 (2018);
  • Kyiv, Ukraine, which went from 51-44-85 (2015) to 73-73-96 (2018); and
  • Nairobi County, Kenya, which went from 77-96-55 (2016) to 79-99-92 (2018).

“The progress made in Bangkok, Kyiv, and Nairobi County is a testament to prioritizing programs and resources towards leaving no woman, man, or child behind, which includes addressing health inequalities,” said Dr. Zuniga. “Kyiv’s progress, for example, demonstrates that even in a city resisting strong epidemiological headwinds faced by other cities in Eastern Europe, our calculus for success – political commitment, public health innovation, and the meaningful engagement of affected communities – is working.”

Following is a full list of cities and municipalities that have reported new or updated 90-90-90 data during 2019:

NORTH AMERICA

Atlanta (Fulton County), GA, USA (2018):  84-87-82
Austin, TX, USA (2016):  100-80-72
Columbia, SC, USA (2018):  84-N/A*-75
Denver, CO, USA (2018):  87-N/A*-90
Birmingham (Jefferson County), AL, USA (2018):  84-76-83
Minneapolis, MN, USA (2017):  88-72-88
New Orleans, LA, USA (2018):  87-75-89
New York City, NY, USA (2018):  93-90-92
Phoenix, AZ, USA (2017):  87-58-99
Providence, RI, USA (2017):  91-79-91
San Antonio (Bexar County), TX, USA (2018):  81-72-87
San Francisco, CA, USA (2017):  94-79-94
Washington, DC, USA (2018):  87-78-85

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

Kingston/St. Andrew, Jamaica (2018):  93-53-66
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil (2017):  58-78-91
São Paulo, Brazil (2018):  87-72-95

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2018):  77-98-N/A*
eThekwini, South Africa (2018):  91-77-93
Johannesburg, South Africa (April-June 2019):  86-65-85
Kampala, Uganda (2018):  59-98-93
Kigali, Rwanda (2018):  91-94-89
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (2018):  74-56-54
Lagos, Nigeria (2018):  66-99-84
Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (2018):  65-92-23
Nairobi County, Kenya (2018):  79-99-92
Windhoek, Namibia (2018):  85-89-73
Yaoundé, Cameroon (2018):  74-87-N/A*

ASIA-PACIFIC

Almaty, Kazakhstan (2018):  84-80-70
Bangkok, Thailand (2018):  92-78-76
Taipei, Taiwan (2018):  80-92-96
Quezon City, Philippines (2018):  76-66-17

WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN EUROPE

Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018):  95-94-96
Berlin, Germany (2018):  89-93-95
Brighton, UK (2017):  93-99-99
Canton of Geneva, Switzerland (2017):  90-96-93
Kyiv, Ukraine (2018):  73-73-96
London, UK (2018):  95-98-97
Manchester, UK (2017):  91-97-94
Milan, Italy (2017):  N/A*-96-90
Odesa, Ukraine (2018):  70-56-92
Paris, France (2018):  88-96-94
Seville, Spain (2018):  85-98-95

*N/A:  Data are not currently generated

Fast-Track Cities data are maintained and updated online at http://fast-trackcities.org.

About Fast-Track Cities

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between almost 300 cities and municipalities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the City of Paris. The partnership’s aim is to end urban HIV epidemics by getting to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero HIV-related stigma. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris.

About the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)

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. Please visit www.iapac.org for more information about IAPAC’s activities.

IAPAC Welcomes Winnie Byanyima as New UNAIDS Executive Director

IAPAC Welcomes Winnie Byanyima as New UNAIDS Executive Director

Statement by Dr. José M. Zuniga
President/Chief Executive Officer, IAPAC
August 14, 2019 – Washington, DC, USA

On behalf of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), I welcome UN Secretary-General António Gutteres’ appointment of Winnie Byanyima to serve as the next Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). We call on her to leverage our forward momentum and work with and through UNAIDS’ many partners to expand upon local, national, and regional HIV responses for the benefit of every person living with and affected by HIV.

We are at a pivotal juncture in the global effort to stem the tide of new HIV infections and end AIDS-related deaths. The benefits of so much progress have not been shared universally, leaving significant numbers of people without access to life-saving treatment that can also prevent HIV transmission. All of us have a duty to ensure that no one is left behind in the global HIV response. We must sustain political commitment, avoid complacency, eliminate persistent HIV-related stigma, and maintain investments in data-driven and equity-based interventions. Ms. Byanyima enters her new role with a proven record of leadership on the global level and a fresh perspective that will serve UNAIDS well as we prepare to enter the fifth and hopefully final decade of the HIV epidemic.

We stand ready to strengthen our longstanding partnership with UNAIDS, including our 5-year collaboration with a growing network of more than 300 Fast-Track Cities that are working in solidarity to end their urban HIV epidemics. We also pledge to support Ms. Byanyima and the superb team of advocates and technicians that make up the global UNAIDS family, because our collective successes will save lives and ultimately lead to the end of the HIV epidemic.

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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. For more information about IAPAC and our global activities, visit: https://www.iapac.org/

Four Irish Cities Join Fast-Track Cities to Form Fast-Track Ireland

Four Irish Cities Join Fast-Track Cities to Form “Fast-Track Ireland”

Ireland joins HIV initiative
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met with the Paris Declaration signatories in Dublin

June 14, 2019 — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar applauded the cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick for signing the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities today in a country-wide effort to address the HIV epidemic. Ireland’s Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne attended a signing ceremony in Dublin, along with IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga, HSE National Director of Health and Wellbeing Dr. Stephanie O’Keefe, and officials and community representatives from each city.

“The Government wants to reduce the number of people who contract HIV,” said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. “We want to make it easier for people to get tested and know their status, as people who know their status get treated and are far less likely to pass it on. I am really pleased that Ireland is joining forces with other cities and partners around the world in this global initiative to fight HIV. Collaborating in this way will help us to identify and share best practices.”

More than 300 municipalities have now joined the Fast-Track Cities network in pursuit of international programmatic targets related to HIV testing, treatment, and prevention. The network promotes collaboration between local elected officials, community organizations, clinical and service providers, and people living with HIV to optimize HIV prevention and care continua by using data-driven strategies to ensure no one is left behind in urban and national HIV responses.

“IAPAC welcomes the Irish cities of Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick to the Fast-Track Cities network, and we applaud the political commitment made by their Mayors, in partnership with affected communities, to work towards ending their local HIV epidemics,” said Dr. Zuniga. “We also applaud the Department of Health’s investment towards Fast-Track Ireland activities – an investment that is ‘wind in the sails’ for ambitious plans to scale-up HIV testing, linkage to preventative and therapeutic care, and eliminate the barrier that AIDS-related stigma continues to represent almost four decades into the global HIV epidemic.”

The Government of Ireland announced that it will also allocate an additional €450,000 in funding for HIV testing, treatment, prevention programs. These four Irish cities will work together along with Healthy Ireland and the Healthy City and Counties program to reach the targets that have been set by the Fast-Track Cities initiative. The Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities was launched on World AIDS Day in 2014 with IAPAC, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the City of Paris as the core partners.

“Sexual health is one of our key priorities under Healthy Ireland and reducing the number of new HIV diagnoses in Ireland is a priority focus for me,” said Ireland’s Health Minister Simon Harris. The new funding also includes support for increased access to preventative PrEP medication and a public awareness campaign about the negative impacts of HIV-related stigma.

Representatives of community organizations in each of the four cities also signed the Paris Declaration today, including HIV Ireland (Dublin), AIDS West (Galway), GOSHH (Limerick), and Sexual Health Centre Cork. Each of these community partners are promoting HIV testing as part of their efforts to respond to Ireland’s HIV epidemic.

IAPAC President/CEO José M. Zuniga Named 2019 Executive Director of the Year

IAPAC

 

 

 

IAPAC President/CEO José M. Zuniga Named 2019 Executive Director of the Year

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (April 15, 2019) – The Association of Association Executives presented its 2019 Executive Director of the Year Award last week to Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) during the Associations World Congress held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The award was one of several presented in recognition of the achievements of professional associations and leaders from around the world.

According to an Award Committee statement provided by the Association of Association Executives, the judges cited an “excellent track record of filling the gap between clinicians and the community: a very difficult task performed with excellent results. Dr. Zuniga has made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people worldwide. He has a long-term vision, great impact, and excellent results.”

Photo Credit: Marie Ullnert/Göteborg & Co.

Dr. Zuniga dedicated his award to current and former IAPAC staff members, successive Boards of Trustees, members and their patients, as well as allies and donors:

“To paraphrase Andrew Carnegie, no man or woman will make a good leader who wants to do it all alone, or to get all the credit for doing it,” said Dr. Zuniga. “I thank the Association of Association Executives for honoring me with its Executive Director of the Year Award, which is equally shared with the countless people, past and present, who enliven IAPAC’s mission.”

IAPAC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Mark Nelson of the Imperial College in London, UK, congratulated Dr. Zuniga for his years of service to IAPAC and its members. He also highlighted IAPAC’s leadership in the global Fast-Track Cities initiative to end urban HIV epidemics, which has grown to a network of over 270 municipalities worldwide since 2014.

“This honor reflects José’s great work but also recognizes IAPAC’s work in the fight against HIV, both at an individual and population level,” said Dr. Nelson, who has served as IAPAC Chair since 2017, and was previously Vice Chair from 2014 to 2017. ”However every ship requires a captain, and IAPAC has been lucky to have José at the helm for so many years, and I hope for the foreseeable future.“

Dr. Zuniga joined IAPAC in 1997 and has served as its President/CEO since 2000. He is also a member of the IAPAC Board of Trustees, and an Editor Emeritus of the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC).

AAE IAPAC Award

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About the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)

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. Visit: www.iapac.org

About Fast-Track Cities

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between more than 270 municipalities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the city of Paris that are collaborating to reach zero new HIV diagnoses and achieve zero AIDS-related deaths. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris. For more information please visit: www.iapac.org/fast-track-cities.

Bergamo Signs Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities

Bergamo joins Fast-Track Cities
IAPAC Vice President for Strategic Partnerships Bertrand Audoin welcomed Bergamo as the second Italian city to join the Fast-Track Cities network

Mayor Giorgio Gori signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities on March 18, 2019, on behalf of the city of Bergamo, Italy. Bergamo joins more than 270 municipalities around the world that have committed to achieving international targets in the fight against HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

“Thirty-five years of HIV history have not solved all problems, although major scientific goals have been achieved,” said Mayor Gori at today’s signing ceremony. “HIV/AIDS still remains a political problem where cities have a central role. Fighting against stigma and in favor of high-risk or marginalized populations is a must with relevant implications in terms of public health that go beyond the direct effect of the intervention. For us, joining the Fast-Track Cities project is an opportunity to glue all realities operating in our city and to renew the city efforts against HIV/AIDS.”

Over two dozen stakeholders from among the local government, public health officials, clinicians, non-governmental organizations, charities, and community representatives participated in the meeting to discuss the city’s progress in controlling the HIV epidemic. Officials from Bergamo said that they have already achieved the “90-90-90” targets for HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment, and viral suppression that are included in the Paris Declaration. The city will now implement a new program to test everyone diagnosed with HIV for hepatitis, and take advantage of the Fast-Track Cities network to share their insights with other communities around the world. Participants also noted the importance of continuing to fight against stigma towards people living with HIV.

“We are delighted to welcome the city of Bergamo to the global network of more than 270 Fast-Track Cities committed to ending the public health threats posed by HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC, the Fast-Track Cities initiative‘s core technical partner. “IAPAC stands ready to support the political leadership of Bergamo by building consensus between policymakers, healthcare providers, and members of the community to improve access to HIV, HBV, HCV, and TB testing, prevention, and treatment services, and to eliminate stigma as an obstacle to accessing and utilizing such services.“

“In the last years, the extension of ARV treatment to all according to a test-and-treat approach have slightly reduced the number of yearly new diagnosis in our setting,” said Dr. Franco Maggiolo, Managing Director of the Antiviral Therapy Unit at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital of Bergamo. “However, TasP can be only an aspect of the general picture of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Joining the Fast-Track Cities project is a way to connect medical activities with local activism and the intervention of other cities’ authorities. The scope is to promote a comprehensive approach that will include better programs for reaching marginalized populations, for sensitizing the general population and the youths, for spreading the culture of HIV testing and for overcoming stigma. We hope that being a part of a global network will help us on our path.”

Columbia, South Carolina, Becomes 22nd U.S. Municipality to Join the Fast-Track Cities Initiative

Columbia, SC, Becomes 22nd US Municipality to Join the Fast-Track Cities Initiative

Columbia, South Carolina, became the 22nd municipality in the United States to join the global Fast-Track Cities initiative today (February 5, 2019), linking the city’s urban AIDS response with the work of hundreds of other cities around the world. Mayor Steve Benjamin signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities this evening at Columbia’s City Hall.

Columbia SC Mayor Benjamin“The Paris Declaration highlights simple yet incredibly effective measures and practices that will allow us to achieve our goals as a city,” said Mayor Benjamin. “We look forward to playing a role in bettering the lives of our residents and improving the health outcomes of this community.”

The City of Columbia’s announcement coincides with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This annual event calls attention to the ongoing disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic among Black people. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans represented 43% of new HIV diagnoses in 2017, despite the fact that they comprise roughly 13% of the national population. Among Black men living with HIV, 80% of them acquired HIV through same-gender sexual contact. Among Black women who have HIV, 91% became HIV positive through heterosexual contact. Although the CDC estimates that 85% of African Americans who have HIV are aware of their status, only 46% have achieved viral suppression (the ultimate goal of treatment with antiretroviral therapy to achieve therapeutic and preventative (undetectable equals untransmittable [U=U]) benefits.

“IAPAC welcomes Columbia to the global network of Fast-Track Cities committed to accelerating their local AIDS responses and placing affected communities at the center of efforts to get more people tested and linked to prevention and treatment services, as well as addressing barriers such as stigma related to HIV, mental health, and substance use,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the core technical partner of the global Fast-Track Cities initiative. “By focusing our efforts in cities with high HIV rates across the United States, the Fast-Track Cities initiative will save and enhance the lives of people living with and affected by HIV, and contribute to the national goal of ending the domestic HIV epidemic by 2030.”

South Carolina is one of seven priority states that are highlighted alongside 48 counties in the new federal HIV policy that was announced by President Trump during his State of the Union address this week. The southern US is the region that is the most heavily-affected by HIV in the United States. HIV testing is critically important in southern US states, because this region has the lowest number of people living with HIV who are aware of their status. As a result, fewer southerners living with HIV are able to receive the treatment they need to reduce their viral loads, avoid disease progression, and avoid transmitting HIV to others.

Mayor Benjamin’s signature follows last week’s endorsement of the Paris Declaration by officials from Fulton County, Georgia, effectively linking their efforts with the county’s largest city, Atlanta, whose Mayor signed the Paris Declaration in 2015. Further news about the Fulton County-Atlanta partnership will be forthcoming.

More than 250 Fast-Track Cities worldwide have committed to achieving the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets. These targets seek to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, that 90% of people who know they are HIV-positive are receiving antiretroviral therapy, and that 90% of those on antiretroviral therapy maintain viral suppression. Achieving zero stigma is an additional Fast-Track Cities goal.

The other US municipalities that have signed the Paris Declaration include Atlanta/Fulton County, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Metro Denver, Miami-Dade County, Minneapolis, New York, New Orleans, Oakland/Alameda County, Phoenix, Providence, San Antonio/Bexar County, San Francisco, and the District of Columbia.