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.

IAPAC Responds to President Trump’s Call to End the US HIV Epidemic by 2030

 

 

 

Statement by Dr. José M. Zuniga
President/Chief Executive Officer, IAPAC
February 5, 2019 – Washington, DC, USA

“The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) supports President Trump’s commitment from his State of the Union address to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. The goal to end the US HIV epidemic is more than aspirational – it is achievable. We have the tools at our disposal to curb new HIV infections and end AIDS-related deaths. Among the barriers impeding our ability to leverage these tools are persistent HIV-related stigma and discrimination, the affordability of healthcare services, parallel mental health and substance use epidemics, and housing instability. Resolving these barriers requires the Trump Administration’s attention and the meaningful engagement of stakeholders, notably HIV-affected communities.

President Trump’s call to action can play a vital role in reaffirming the right of all Americans to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their HIV status, and their right to benefit from evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment, and supportive services. We call on the Trump Administration to focus its efforts and resources in communities that are heavily affected by HIV and among key populations that face intersectional challenges to their whole health and quality of life. Such a focus is a critical component of any new federal strategy to end the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Diverse stakeholders from 21 municipalities* across the United States have already joined the Fast-Track Cities initiative with more than 250 cities around the world to accelerate their local AIDS responses and end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. IAPAC will engage with affected communities, clinicians, and policymakers at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels to harmonize with and link our Fast-Track Cities work to renewed efforts by federal agencies to ensure that the US national HIV response leaves no American behind.”

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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. Visit: www.iapac.org

*21 US cities, counties, and the District of Columbia are part of the Fast-Track Cities network, including 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; and San Francisco. Columbia, SC, is slated to join the Fast-Track Cities network on February 7, 2019, as are several other priority U.S. cities later in the year. Visit www.iapac.org/fast-track-cities for more information.

AIDSfree Campaign Highlights Fast-Track Cities Approach

Dr. Yolanda Manuel reported on community engagement progress in Maputo, Mozambique, at a session led by IAPAC

AIDSfree Campaign Highlights Fast-Track Cities Approach

Atlanta and Fulton County Unite Fast-Track Cities Efforts at AIDSfree Cities Global Forum

The Chairman of the Fulton County, Georgia, USA, Board of Commissioners reinforced the City of Atlanta’s commitment to ending its local AIDS epidemic by signing the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities at the AIDSfree Cities Global Forum held January 30, 2019, in London.

Hosted by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and the Secretary of State for International Development, the Forum brought together more than 100 delegates to share best practices in urban AIDS responses.

The Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Robb Pitts, formally signed the Paris Declaration at the Forum, joining with their county’s most populous city, Atlanta, and over 250 other municipalities around the world that are working to achieve United Nations programmatic targets aimed at reducing new HIV infections and preventing AIDS-related deaths.

Robb Pitts
Fulton County (Georgia, USA) Chairman Robb Pitts

“By signing Fulton County up as a Fast-Track City in partnership with the City of Atlanta, we are taking on the challenge to end new HIV infections in the capital by 2030,” said Pitts. “We must be ambitious, and I am confident that by working together we can achieve this goal.”

Leaders from two other cities represented at the Forum − London and Nairobi City County − also reaffirmed their commitments to the Fast-Track Cities initiative with a joint statement to redouble their efforts in the coming years. Nairobi City County was represented by Governor Mike Sonko, and London by Dr. Jane Anderson, who serves as co-Chair of that city’s Fast-Track Cities leadership team.

IAPAC collaborated with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its partners to develop the Forum’s program focused on successes and challenges faced by six Fast-Track Cities −  Atlanta, Delhi, Kyiv, London, Maputo, and Nairobi.

Lord Speaker Nolan Fowler
Lord Speaker Norman Fowler met with IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga at a reception before the Forum

Among the many distinguished guests at a pre-Forum reception was Lord Speaker Norman Fowler of the UK House of Lords. Lord Fowler is widely respected for his leadership in addressing the HIV epidemic during his tenure as the UK’s Health Secretary in the 1980s. His public education campaign played a critical role in dispelling widespread myths about HIV and preventing new infections during a time when treatment options were often limited or unavailable.

The Fast-Track Cities initiative’s 90-90-90 programmatic targets are for each city to have 90% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, ensure 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. London is the only one of the six cities represented at the Forum to have surpassed the 90-90-90 targets, announcing on World AIDS Day 2018 that it had reached 95-98-97.

During a Forum session chaired by IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga, representatives from Atlanta, Kyiv, London, and Maputo shared perspectives on the leadership and collaboration facilitators that have accelerated the pace of their local AIDS responses.

The Forum served as a prelude to the Fast-Track Cities 2019 conference that will be held by IAPAC, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and other partners, from September 8-11, 2019, in London.

“This forum allows us to celebrate [the cities’] successes, but also to speak bluntly about the challenges we face,” according to Dr. Zuniga, as quoted in the Evening Standard‘s coverage of the Forum. “We will take the lessons learned from this forum and bring them to the other cities.”

IAPAC Joins London AIDSfree Cities Forum

AIDSfree LondonRepresentatives 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 targetsgetting 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.

Fast-Track Cities Gain Momentum in Efforts to Attain 90-90-90

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2018

Contact: Ace Robinson, MPH
arobinson@iapac.org; +1-206-931-3853

Fast-Track Cities Gain Momentum in Efforts to Attain 90-90-90

12 Fast-Track City Dashboards launched on World AIDS Day

4 December 2018 (Washington, DC, USA) – Launched four years ago, the Fast-Track Cities initiative has as one of its objectives to assist cities to generate and report data related to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets. The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), one of the initiative’s core technical partners, today launched data dashboards for 12 Fast-Track Cities from multiple regions of the world, which report HIV care continuum baseline data for all cities and 90-90-90 data for eight cities. Ten additional cities updated their previously reported baseline data, demonstrating continued momentum in efforts to attain and surpass the 90-90-90 targets.

Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between highly HIV-affected cities and four core partners – UNAIDS, IAPAC, the City of Paris, and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) –with international partners and stakeholders focused on reducing local, national, and regional impact of HIV. More than 250 cities have signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities committing to reach the initiative’s 90-90-90 and zero stigma and discrimination targets by 2020.

The Fast-Track Cities approach includes utilizing epidemiological and programmatic data to efficiently respond to local HIV epidemics. IAPAC assists cities to generate and report their progress in helping their respective inhabitants/city-dwellers to access HIV testing and, if found to be living with HIV, to initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) and achieve viral suppression. These data are readily available to view via city-specific dashboards that reside on the Fast-Track Cities global web portal. The dashboards and web portal are curated by IAPAC and Dure Technologies, the association’s information technology partner.

“Thanks to the work of dedicated political and community leaders in Fast-Track Cities around the globe, we are witnessing unprecedented momentum towards attaining and surpassing the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, IAPAC President/CEO. “In publishing baseline and, subsequently, updated 90-90-90 data, the Fast-Track Cities dashboards communicate local and global momentum and hold stakeholders accountable for their progress.”

The UNAIDS theme for World AIDS Day 2018 is Know Your Status. The theme aligns directly with the first 90 target (awareness of HIV status) to empower all people living with HIV, but particularly those disproportionately affected by HIV, to access equitable care, treatment, and support services once they know their HIV status.

“This World AIDS Day not only encourages everyone to know their HIV status, it also marks 30 years of activism and solidarity. The Fast-Track Cities initiative embodies this activism and solidarity to ensure that everyone in cities can be reached with life-saving HIV services, a basic building block for urban health and a critical milestone in our journey towards ending AIDS,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Twelve Fast-Track Cities dashboards were launched today for the cities of Athens, Bamako, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg, Kingston, Libreville, Montréal, Oakland/Alameda County, and Quezon City. Each city’s dashboard features baseline HIV care continua and/or 90-90-90 data.

Following are 90-90-90 data reported by eight of the Fast-Track Cities by geographic region:

Jurisdiction 90-90-90 Fast-Track City Dashboard Link
Africa
Johannesburg 75-70-62 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/johannesburg
Libreville 70-87-NA http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/libreville
Asia-Pacific
Quezon City 69-48-26 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/quezon-city
Europe
Athens 82-87-81 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/athens
Berlin 89-94-93 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/berlin
Latin America and Caribbean
Buenos Aires NA-76-NA http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/buenos-aires
Kingston 93-45-66 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/kingston
North America
Montréal 86-97-92 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/montreal

*NA refers to data that have not yet been reported
*Four cities (Bamako, Dar es Salaam, Durban/eThekwini, Oakland/Alameda County) did not report 90-90-90 data but did report partial HIV care continuum data on their respective Fast-Track City dashboards

Several Fast-Track Cities updated their previously reported HIV care continua and/or 90-90-90 data from prior years. In nine of the 10 cities, progress was reported across one or more of the 90 targets and/or in relation to HIV care continuum indicators. Among the cities with the most pronounced progress are Bangkok (increase from 79% in 2016 to 91% in 2018 of people living with HIV aware of their HIV status); Kyiv (increase from 44% in 2016 to 66% in 2017 of ART coverage among people living with HIV aware of their status); and New Orleans (increase from 91% in 2016 to 97% in 2017 of people living with HIV on ART achieving viral suppression). London has attained the initiative’s subsequent 95-95-95 targets (95-98-97), and Nairobi County is the first jurisdiction to report 100% of PLHIV who know their status are on ART.

Following are updated 90-90-90 data for 10 Fast-Track Cities that had previously reported these data:

Jurisdiction 90-90-90 Fast-Track City Dashboard Link
Africa
Nairobi County 78-100-82 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/nairobi-county
Asia-Pacific
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration 91-70-76 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/bangkok
Europe
Amsterdam 95-94-94 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/amsterdam
Kyiv 55-66-73 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/kyiv
London 95-98-97 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/london
North America
Metro Denver 90-NA-90 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/metro-denver
Miami-Dade County 86-NA-NA http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/miami
New Orleans 87-66-97 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/new-orleans
New York City 93-86-93 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/new-york
San Francisco 94-79-94 http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/san-francisco

*NA refers to data that have not yet been reported
*San Antonio/Bexar County launched their dashboard earlier this year with 86-72-86 (2017) as their “90-90-90” targets

The Fast-Track City dashboards launched today were made possible through grant support from ViiV Healthcare, the MAC AIDS Fund, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Merck & Co., and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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About Fast-Track Cities

Cities bear a large share of the global HIV burden. In countries with large HIV epidemics, the numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in urban areas are so high that effective city-level action is likely to influence national outcomes. Even where an HIV epidemic is smaller, cities are home to large numbers of people belonging to key populations at higher risk of HIV, but which often receive limited attention in HIV programs. The Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between more than 250 high HIV burden cities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the city of Paris. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris. For more information please visit: www.iapac.org/fast-track-cities

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

IAPAC was founded more than three decades ago with a mission to improve access to, and the quality of, prevention, care, treatment, and support services deliver to people living with and affected by HIV and comorbid diseases, including tuberculosis and viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV). With more than 30,000 members globally, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals who are working to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. For more information, please visit: www.iapac.org

Fast-Track Cities Survey Data Provide Insights into Quality of Life of People Living with HIV

Initial trends from five cities shed light on stigma experienced by people living with HIV, but reveal that overall quality of life is good among those who are on HIV treatment

 

London, UK, 30 November 2018 – Early findings from the Fast-Track Cities Quality of Life Survey fielded in 29 cities around the world, show that almost one in three people living with HIV (38%) report feelings of stigma by their community, and almost one in four in a healthcare setting (23%), of which 78% identified a healthcare worker as the source of stigma. These figures, alongside others highlighted in the survey, provide an insight into how the quality of life of people living with HIV is affected on a daily basis by a myriad of factors including stigma.

The Fast-Track Cities Quality of Life Survey was developed by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Network for People Living with HIV (GNP+), and the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW). Supported by a grant from ViiV Healthcare, the survey aimed to seek answers to questions about the overall health and wellbeing of people living with HIV, as well as factors that can affect a persons’ quality of life while living with the disease, particularly in a city setting.

The initial findings released today, just before World AIDS Day[1], are the first to be announced from the survey and provide an overall global picture as well as specific city read-outs from five Fast-Track Cities: Bangkok (Thailand), Durban (South Africa), Madrid (Spain), Miami (USA), and Salvador (Brazil). Results show that there is a significant disparity in the levels of stigma experienced in a healthcare setting, and within communities, by people living with HIV in these five cities.

Reported stigma and discrimination experienced within the community within the past 12 months were relatively low in Salvador and Bangkok, at 16% and 11%, respectively, with stigma experienced in healthcare facilities and by healthcare workers in these two cities within the same timeframe similarly low at 7% and 12%, respectively. However, the figures jump sharply for Miami, Durban, and Madrid with 66%, 42%, and 32% of respondents, respectively, saying they had felt stigmatised by their community in the past year.

Moreover, 47% of Durban respondents said they had been stigmatised in a healthcare facility or by a healthcare worker, while Miami and Madrid respondents reported considerably less stigma experienced in their healthcare facilities at 16% and 13%, respectively.

“One of the four commitments undertaken by all Fast-Track Cities was to reduce the negative impact of stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV, both as a human rights imperative but also as a means of increasing access to and utilisation of HIV services to attain the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets,” said Dr José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC, the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative. “Where stigma exists against people living with HIV, the dignity that should be afforded every human being and the benefits that ‘Knowing Your Status’[2] (HIV prevention and treatment services) can confer are denied. We aim to use the findings from the Fast-Track Cities Quality of Life Survey to inform a global and local dialogue about the need to take a holistic approach to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.”

Globally, initial trends indicate that approximately 40% of the more than 4,300 people living with HIV who responded to the survey, reported being satisfied with their quality of life. Percentages were significantly higher in Miami with 56% reporting satisfaction, followed by Durban and Salvador, both reporting close to 50% satisfaction. Eighty-eight percent and 70% of respondents from Salvador and Durban, respectively, who reported satisfaction with their quality of life were consistently on antiretroviral therapy (ART), while in Miami, 60% of respondents who were satisfied with their quality of life were on ART but admitted occasionally missing doses. With regards to their outlook on life and living with HIV, respondents in Bangkok (44%), Miami (43%), and Salvador (39%) most often reported a positive outlook. Significant percentages of people living with HIV who are consistently on ART across three cities reported a positive outlook on life – Madrid (100%), Bangkok (94%), and Salvador (94%), while in Durban and Miami only 66% and 65% of respondents consistently on ART, respectively, reported a positive outlook on life.

Michele Robbins, Senior Director, Global Strategic Initiatives, ViiV Healthcare said, “It is vitally important to recognise that quality of life is an essential part of HIV care and to understand how people living with HIV perceive it affects their ongoing care. We look forward to using these insights and working with partners to develop meaningful interventions[3] that can support optimal care in HIV.”

Additional interim global findings from the survey showed that 25% of respondents had disclosed their status to their intimate partner or spouse, and that about the same proportion worry about disclosing their status to their intimate partner or spouse. Despite Salvador and Bangkok reporting low stigma and discrimination in the healthcare setting and within their communities, people living with HIV in all three cities were notably worried about disclosing their HIV status to family and friends – 62%, 50%, and 50% for Salvador, Bangkok, and Durban, respectively. In Miami and Madrid, 26% and 21% of respondents, respectively, reported being almost always worried about disclosing their HIV status to family and friends, while 27% of respondents in Madrid and 24% of respondents in Miami reported being worried about disclosing to their intimate partners or spouses.

 

Full findings from the Fast-Track Cities Quality of Life Survey are expected to be announced in 2019. The total number of respondents is expected to reach 7,500.

 

-  ENDS -

 

About Fast-Track Cities

Cities bear a large share of the global HIV burden. In countries with large HIV epidemics, the numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in urban areas are so high that effective city-level action is likely to influence national outcomes. Even where an HIV epidemic is smaller, cities are home to large numbers of people belonging to key populations at higher risk of HIV infection but which often receive limited attention in HIV programs. The Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between more than 250 high HIV burden cities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the city of Paris. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris. For more information please visit: www.iapac.org/fast-track-cities.

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

IAPAC was founded more than three decades ago with a mission to improve access to, and the quality of, prevention, care, treatment, and support services deliver to people living with and affected by HIV and comorbid diseases, including tuberculosis and viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV). With more than 30,000 members globally, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals who are working to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. For more information, please visit: www.iapac.org

 

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV.

 

For more information on the company and our work towards 90-90-90, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com .

 

Media contact

Isabelle Scali Isabelle.x.scali@viivealthcare.com M: +44 7557 290420

 

[1] The theme for World AIDS Day 2018 is Know Your Status. The theme recognizes the importance of ensuring that people living with HIV, especially those disproportionately affected by HIV, have equitable access to and utilize timely care, treatment, and supportive services if they are diagnosed with HIV. Click here for more information: https://knowyourstatus.unaids.org/

[3] Through support from ViiV Healthcare, IAPAC developed training modules for clinicians in 35 Fast-Track Cities regarding the importance of eliminating stigma in healthcare settings. The modules were developed in partnership with UNAIDS, GNP+, and the International AIDS Society (IAS). Click here for more information: http://www.fast-trackcities.org/hiv-stigma

 

Stigma and Misconceptions are Critical Barriers to Reach HIV Targets in Scotland

Survey Reveals HIV Stigma in Scotland Remains Widespread, with a Majority of Respondents (69%) Feeling Uncomfortable Dating Someone Living with HIV 

 

October 29, 2018 – Results released today from a Europe-wide survey including over 500 people in Scotland demonstrate that, despite significant progress over almost four decades, HIV-related stigma persists as a major challenge for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Negative societal attitudes towards PLHIV pose a barrier to achieving the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 treatment targets by 2020, as stigma discourages testing and can impede PLHIV’s access to and engagement and retention in HIV care.[1] Early diagnosis and successful treatment of HIV can reduce AIDS-related deaths, lead to a near normal lifespan, and prevent HIV transmission.[2],[3]

“Across Scotland, we have seen a great deal of positive changes in addressing HIV management and care over the years, particularly with respect to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets for testing, treatment and viral suppression,” said George Valiotis, CEO, HIV Scotland. “However, as these results show, there is still much work to be done amongst the general public to further tackle the issue of HIV-related stigma and misconceptions about HIV and PLHIV, which can be a key barrier to achieving the target of 90% of PLHIV knowing their status. We need to evaluate and increase our efforts and ensure that we adopt the right approach to address these issues and achieve 90-90-90 by 2020.”

Results for Scotland from the Is HIV Sorted? survey, jointly conducted by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, and Gilead Sciences, were presented today at HIV Scotland’s ‘Fast Tracking Scotland to End the HIV Epidemic’ event at the Glasgow Science Centre.[4]

  • Across Scotland, a significant proportion of respondents (69%) would not feel comfortable dating someone who is living with HIV (68% in Glasgow)
  • Just over one-fifth (22%) of respondents would not feel comfortable working with a person living with HIV; however, significantly more respondents (42%) believe that PLHIV should not be allowed to work as healthcare professionals
  • Only 43% of respondents across Scotland agreed or strongly agreed that HIV-related stigma is ‘a thing of the past’ in the United Kingdom

The survey results also demonstrated a significant lack of awareness about the realities of HIV treatment and secondary transmission. Successful HIV treatment that yields an undetectable level of HIV in the blood (viral suppression) over a six-month period means that the risk of transmitting the virus from HIV-positive to -negative sexual partners is negligible to non-existent (the premise of the Undetectable=Untransmittable [U=U] message). However:4

  • Only around one in 10 respondents (11%) understood the meaning of ‘undetectable,’ with approximately one third (33%) believing that being undetectable means that you can still transmit HIV to someone else
  • 44% of respondents believed that it would still be possible to transmit HIV to others, even if HIV treatment was having the best effect possible (viral suppression)
  • Less than a third (28%) of respondents were aware that it is possible for women living with HIV who are undetectable to conceive HIV-negative children

HIV testing rates among Scottish respondents were also worryingly low. One fifth of respondents have had an HIV test (19%) in their lifetime – however half of these tests (51%) were completed more than 5 years ago. In addition, the survey found worrying levels of complacency across Scotland with respect to HIV prevention. Almost a quarter of respondents said they had a new sexual partner in the last year but, of these respondents, only 37% always used a condom, and a quarter rarely or never used a condom with a new sexual partner. These results contrast with a majority view among respondents in Scotland (78%) that condoms can protect people from HIV infection, though very few respondents (5%) are aware that taking certain HIV treatments before sex (5%) can reduce HIV acquisition.4

“HIV Scotland’s commitment to fast-track the country’s AIDS response is aligned with the Fast-Track Cities initiative’s objective of attaining the 90-90-90 and zero stigma targets to achieve impact on national HIV epidemics. The Is HIV Sorted? survey results for Scotland demonstrate a need for greater collaboration and coordination to increase HIV literacy among the general public, address complacency regarding HIV testing and prevention, and correct misperceptions that exacerbate stigma against PLHIV,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC). “We firmly believe that for Glasgow and other Scottish cities, an initiative such as Fast-Track Cities can provide a platform to support this holistic approach, with the opportunity to leverage wider global partnerships and share positive learnings and best practices on the world stage.”

 

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– Notes to editors –

 

About Is HIV Sorted?

The Is HIV Sorted? Survey was commissioned by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, and Gilead Sciences. The survey respondents included 18,169 HIV-negative[*] adults living in nine countries in Western Europe, including seven with Fast-Track Cities (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, The Netherlands and Switzerland) and 6,043 HIV-negative* adults living in three countries in Eastern Europe, two with Fast-Track Cities (Romania, Ukraine and the Russian Federation). The survey aimed to provide insights into the general publics’ awareness, perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes towards HIV. The survey was fielded in June 2018 by the independent market research company Opinium. Additional survey data will be made available towards the end of 2018 and in 2019.

 

About Fast-Track Cities

Cities bear a large share of the global HIV burden. In countries with large HIV epidemics, the numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in urban areas are so high that effective city-level action is likely to influence national outcomes. Even where an HIV epidemic is smaller, cities are home to large numbers of people belonging to key populations at higher risk of HIV infection but which often receive limited attention in HIV programs. The Fast-Track Cities is a global partnership between more than 250 high HIV burden cities, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the city of Paris. The initiative was launched on World AIDS Day 2014 in Paris. For more information please visit: http://www.fast-trackcities.org.

 

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

IAPAC was founded more than three decades ago with a mission to improve access to, and the quality of, prevention, care, treatment, and support services deliver to people living with and affected by HIV and comorbid diseases, including tuberculosis and viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV). With more than 30,000 members globally, IAPAC is the largest association of clinicians and allied health professionals who are working with many partners to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

 

About HIV Scotland

HIV Scotland is the national HIV policy organisation for Scotland. We exist on behalf of all those living with and at risk of HIV to ensure that Scotland has responsive policies, quality services and a supportive environment that enable people living with or at risk of HIV in Scotland to live health and fulfilling lives. HIV Scotland is a multi-award-winning charity, recognised for our skill in bringing multiple partners together to achieve innovative and ambitious outcomes. HIV Scotland is the national collaborating partner with IAPAC to deliver the Fast Track Cities initiative in Scotland.

 

About the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) asserts that attaining the 90-90-90 targets is a means of placing national and municipal jurisdictions on a trajectory towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The targets translate into:

 

  • 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their HIV status
  • 90% of PLHIV who know their HIV-positive status on antiretroviral therapy (ART)
  • 90% of PLHIV on ART achieving viral suppression

 

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

 

For nearly 30 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of HIV, driving advances in treatment, prevention and cure research. Today, it’s estimated that more than 11.5 million people living with HIV globally receive antiretroviral therapy provided by Gilead or one of the company’s generic manufacturing partners.

 

For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com, follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or
1-650-574-3000.

 

 

 

References

[*] Self-described

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV Stigma Fact Sheet. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/actagainstaids/pdf/campaigns/lsht/cdc-hiv-TogetherStigmaFactSheet.pdf [last accessed July 2018]

[2] May, MT. Better to know: the importance of early HIV diagnosis. The Lancet 2016.

[3] World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/communicable-diseases/hivaids/hivaids [last accessed October 2018]

[4] Opinium. Is HIV sorted survey (sample: 18,169). June – July 2018. Survey commissioned by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and Gilead Sciences

IAPAC’s President/CEO Calls for Renewed Commitment to Attain 90-90-90

Washington, DC, USA (October 25, 2018) – In an editorial published today in the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC), Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), called for “a renewed commitment to the scaling up of HIV treatment services to attain the 90-90-90 targets by 2020 (or 2025) must be matched by a similar commitment to expanded access to primary HIV prevention within the context of a world that is liberated of HIV-related stigma and discrimination."

Entitled “UNAIDS 90-90-90 – Opportunity in Every Difficulty,” the editorial responds to criticisms about 90-90-90 that Dr. Zuniga believes permeated the recent AIDS 2018 conference held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. While acknowledging that the 90-90-90 targets may not be met by the 2020 deadline set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the editorial lays out a rationale for accelerating the pace of progress rather than abandoning a set of successful programmatic targets.

“Framed within the context of our indisputable successes with HIV treatment as prevention, the power of the Undetectable=Untransmittable message,1 the PARTNER 2 confirmation that zero transmissions equal zero risk,2 and new evidence that on-demand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective in men who have sex with men,3,4 our pace must quicken not wane,” Dr. Zuniga writes in the editorial. “With no vaccine or cure available in short order (though we should continue to invest in their discovery), there is one viable option: speed up efforts to attain 90-90-90 everywhere and across all populations and age bands, including by eliminating structural and other barriers, while refining and expanding our approaches.”

 

Click here to access the JIAPAC editorial, “UNAIDS 90-90-90 – Opportunity in Every Difficulty.”

 

References

  1. The Lancet HIV. U=U taking off in 2017. Lancet. 2017;4(11):PE475.
  2. Rodger, A, Cambiano, V, Bruun, P. for the PARTNER Study Group. Risk of HIV transmission through condomless sex in MSM couples with suppressive ART: The PARTNER2 Study Extended Results in Gay Men. Paper presented at: 22nd International AIDS Conference, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, July 23-27, 2018. Abstract WEAX0104LB.
  3. Molina, JM, Ghosn, J, Beniguel, L. Incidence of HIV infection in the ANRS Prevenir study in Paris region with daily or on-demand PrEP with TDF/FTC. Paper presented at: 22nd International AIDS Conference, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, July 23-27, 2018. Abstract WEAE0406LB.
  4. Vuylsteke, B. Daily or event-driven PrEP? Interim results of “Be-PrEP-ared”, a PrEP demonstration project among men who have sex with men in Belgium. Paper presented at: 22nd International AIDS Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 23-27, 2018. Abstract THPEC320.