IAPAC Welcomes USA’s Recommitment to WHO

IAPAC

IAPAC Welcomes USA’s Recommitment to WHO

Statement by Dr. José M. Zuniga
President/CEO and Trustee At-Large
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
21 January 2021 • Washington, DC, USA

“Viruses know no boundaries. International cooperation in public health is thus critical to eliminate the threat that the COVID-19 pandemic poses globally. The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) thus welcomes today’s announcement by the Biden Administration’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, that the United States of America is re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) as a member-state. This important step is of great importance if we are to collectively end the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as we strive to regain our momentum across various health responses, including HIV, TB, viral hepatitis, and other diseases that contribute to morbidity and mortality.

The WHO, with which IAPAC has historically partnered on the global HIV response, requires strengthening, including in relation to pandemic preparedness and response. Moreover, the WHO is undergoing necessary reforms to align with the needs that a global health agency should ably fulfill in the 21st century. We are therefore encouraged that the United States of America is committed to working constructively with other member-states to transform the WHO into such an agency so that it may fulfill its mission to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable with measurable impact.”

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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 the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis by 2030. IAPAC is also the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative and the Secretariat for its Fast-Track Cities Institute (https://www.ftcinstitute.org/). For more information about IAPAC and our global activities, please visit: https://www.iapac.org/

IAPAC Mourns the Passing of Rabbi Allen I. Freehling

IAPAC

IAPAC Mourns the Passing of Rabbi Allen I. Freehling

Statement by Dr. José M. Zuniga
President/CEO and Trustee At-Large
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
7 January 2021 • Washington, DC, USA

“It is with the most profound sorrow that I convey news that our beloved Rabbi Allen I. Freehling, first Chair Emeritus of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home last night in the company of his wife, Mrs. Lori Freehling. Rabbi Freehling was the founding Chair of the IAPAC Board of Trustees, after its re-birth in 1995, and served in that role until retiring in 2014.

On behalf of the IAPAC Board of Trustees, staff, and members, I have conveyed to Mrs. Freehling our association’s sincere condolences and thanked her for supporting Rabbi Freehling over his more than two decades of service to IAPAC. We also extend our deepest sympathies to his two surviving children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

I cannot overstate how much Rabbi Freehling’s caring and thoughtful leadership meant to IAPAC and, personally, to me. Suffice it to say that he personified the definition of a ‘mensch.’ His honor and integrity were invaluable assets to IAPAC and our senior leadership in our continuous efforts to curb new HIV infections, avert AIDS-related deaths, and eliminate stigma and discrimination perpetrated against people living with and affected by HIV.

In that latter vein, Rabbi Freehling kept IAPAC pointed towards a ‘North Star’ that focused on the universal principles of human rights and respect for the dignity of every person. He exemplified this commitment to social justice throughout 30 years as a Senior Rabbi, but also in his civic roles, including as former Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission.

I invite all of our colleagues, friends, and allies to join us in honoring Rabbi Freehling’s memory.”

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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 the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis by 2030. IAPAC is also the core technical partner of the Fast-Track Cities initiative and the Secretariat for its Fast-Track Cities Institute. For more information about IAPAC and our global activities, please visit: https://www.iapac.org/

Seven More Fast-Track Cities Surpass HIV 90-90-90 Targets

IAPAC

Seven More Fast-Track Cities Surpass HIV 90-90-90 Targets

Two Fast-Track Cities Report (Partial) Baseline TB 90-90-90 Data

Washington, DC, USA (December 1, 2020) – Six Fast-Track Cities in the United Kingdom – Aberdeen, Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Liverpool – as well as Berlin announced today that they have surpassed the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) HIV 90-90-90 targets, which are recognized as a starting point on a trajectory towards the goal of achieving zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths.

The Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities calls for cities and municipalities to attain and surpass 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. Numerous studies have shown that achieving viral suppression has both a therapeutic and preventative effect, promising PLHIV a near-normal lifespan and preventing HIV transmission among serodiscordant couples.

Berlin, which signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities in July 2016, is now the 12th Fast-Track City in Europe to surpass the 90-90-90 targets by attaining 90-90-96. The progress of the six other UK cities follows London’s 2018 achievement of being the first Fast-Track City globally to surpass the 90-90-90 targets. Ultimately, so, too, did Amsterdam, Brighton and Hove, Manchester, and New York City. Of note, London also surpassed the UNAIDS HIV 95-95-95 targets in 2019, with 95% of PLHIV knowing their status, 98% of PLHIV who know their status accessing ART, and 97% of PLHIV on ART achieving viral suppression.

“Many Fast-Track Cities are making progress towards attaining and surpassing the 90-90-90 targets, with civic and public health leaders making tremendous efforts to maintain a continuity of HIV services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga. “We are confident such efforts will go a long way towards continuing to close gaps across the prevention and care continua, including getting 12.6 million PLHIV who still do not have access to ART onto treatment and virally suppressed.”

HIV 90-90-90 Target Data Announced

IAPAC launched new data dashboards for three municipalities in the United States on World AIDS Day 2020, including Baton Rouge (Louisiana), Dallas County (Texas), and Minneapolis (Minnesota). Fast-Track City dashboards illustrate city and municipal baseline and annually updated HIV 90-90-90 data.

Fast-Track City Know Status (1st 90) On ART (2nd 90) Virally Suppressed (3rd 90)
Baton Rouge, LA, USA (2018) 88% N/A* 97%
Dallas County, TX, USA (2018) 81% 73% 88%
Minneapolis, MN, USA (2018) 87% 69% 88%

Following is a list of 32 other cities and municipalities that joined Baton Rouge, Dallas County, and Minneapolis in reporting new or updated HIV 90-90-90 data:

NORTH AMERICA

  • Austin, TX, USA: 100-80-72 (2016) to 89-79-90 (2018)
  • Charleston, SC, USA: 84-68-85 (2019 Baseline)
  • Denver, CO, USA: 84-NA-90 (2018) to 87-84-91 (2019)
  • Fulton County (Atlanta), GA, USA: 84-87-82 (2018) to 84-94-83 (2019)
  • Miami-Dade County, FL, USA: NA-64-93 (2018) to NA-67-93 (2019)
  • New Orleans, LA, USA: 87-75-89 (2018) to 87-72-94 (2019)
  • New York City, NY, USA: 93-90-92 (2018) to 93-90-92 (2019)
  • San Francisco, CA, USA: 94-79-94 (2017) to 94-80-94 (2019)
  • Washington, DC, USA: 87-78-85 (2018) to 87-78-85 (2019)

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

  • Kingston/St. Andrew, Jamaica: 93-53-66 (2018) to 93-54-72 (2019)

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

  • Blantyre, Malawi: 85-88-92 (2019 Baseline)
  • Dakar, Senegal: 92-89-95 (2019 Baseline)
  • eThekwini, South Africa: 91-77-93 (2018) to 91-77-93 (2019)
  • Kampala, Uganda: 59-99-83 (2018) to 57-72-95 (July-September 2020)
  • Lagos, Nigeria: 66-99-84 (2018) to 78-80-62 (2019)
  • Lusaka, Zambia: 70-88-63 (2018 Baseline)
  • Windhoek, Namibia: 85-89-73 (2018) to 85-89-73 (2019)

ASIA-PACIFIC

  • Taipei, Taiwan: 80-92-96 (2018) to 86-95-97 (2019)

WESTERN, CENTRAL, EASTERN EUROPE

  • Aberdeen, UK: 92-99-93 (2019 Baseline)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: 95-94-96 (2018) to 95-93-96 (2019)
  • Bergamo, Italy: 94-89-95 (2019 Baseline)
  • Berlin, Germany: 88-94-95 (2018) to 90-96-96 (2019)
  • Brighton and Hove, UK: 93-99-99 (2018) to 94-99-99 (2019)
  • Bristol, UK: 92-98-98 (2018 Baseline)
  • Dundee, UK: 92-97-95 (2019 Baseline)
  • Edinburgh, UK: 92-98-96 (2019 Baseline)
  • Glasgow, UK: 92-99-94 (2019 Baseline)
  • Kyiv, Ukraine: 73-73-96 (2018) to 70-83-85 (Jan-Oct 2020)
  • Liverpool, UK: 92-99-97 (2018 Baseline)
  • London, UK: 95-98-97 (2018) to 95-98-97 (2019)
  • Manchester, UK: 91-97-94 (2017) to 91-98-97 (2018)
  • Seville, Spain: 85-98-95 (2018) to 87-99-93 (2019)

This is also the first year that Fast-Track Cities are reporting tuberculosis (TB) 90-90-90 target data on their Fast-Track City dashboards. Two cities and municipalities reported the data in 2020: Lusaka (Zambia) and Maputo (Mozambique). The targets are defined by the Stop TB Partnership as 90% of all people with TB on treatment (first- and second-line or preventative), 90% of key populations with diagnosed TB on treatment, and 90% of all people diagnosed with TB achieving treatment success.

  • Maputo (Quarter 1/2, 2020): 1st 90 and 3rd 90 TB targets = 62% and 84% (baseline)
  • Lusaka (Quarter 3, 2020): 3rd 90 TB target = 89% (baseline)

“It is exciting to see for the first time TB data on the Fast-Track City dashboards. As more cities and municipalities report on TB, I believe these data will guide strong local advocacy and actions towards universal access to TB prevention and care services for all PLHIV. We look forward to further partner with IAPAC to push for real-time TB data based on the experience of the COVID-19 reporting systems in the cities and municipalities that are members of the Fast-Track Cities network,” said Dr. S. Sahu, Deputy Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among PLHIV, and over 1.4 million people die from TB every year. The Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities commits cities and municipalities to end their urban TB epidemics by 2030. IAPAC is a partner of the Stop TB Partnership in support of the Zero TB Cities initiative.

­­Fast-Track City dashboards are maintained and updated on the Fast-Track City Global Web Portal. Development of individual dashboards has been supported through grant funding from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, Merck & Co., the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and ViiV Healthcare.

*N/A:  Data are not currently generated by public health authorities

Public Health Experts Call for New “Global Health Order” at Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 Conference on HIV and COVID-19

Public Health Experts Call for New “Global Health Order” at Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 Conference on HIV and COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (September 10, 2020) – International public health experts called for the development of a new “global health order” today at the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference, on a day that representatives from 18 Fast-Track Cities illustrated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with HIV in their communities. The second annual conference of 300-plus Fast-Track Cities welcomed almost 1,500 registered online delegates to the two-day conference.

“It is clear that COVID-19 will be with us for many more months to come,” said Dr. Ren Minghui, World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage and Communicable/Non-Communicable Diseases. He highlighted a recent WHO survey from 91 countries, whose data indicated a diversion of healthcare personnel from existing duties (such as providing HIV and other essential services) and decreases in outpatient volume were among the top causes of disruptions to continuity of care.

During his closing remarks, IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga said that, “Countries cannot hijack infrastructures created over many years for mature pandemics such as HIV and tuberculosis (TB) without a steep cost paid by people living with HIV and other diseases against which we have been making steady progress. He added that countries also “cannot siphon off funding for pandemic preparedness even as we confront economic recessions. Surely, we can prioritize realizing the right to health for all and the right to cities and municipalities as places that guarantee a decent and full life for all their inhabitants.”

Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite, Founder and President of the UNITE network of parliamentarians, proposed that “the current [COVID-19] pandemic presents an extraordinary opportunity to reorganize the global health order.” He spoke of the need for a “NATO for health” focused on the operational aspects of multilateral public health policy in lieu of the more diplomatic and technical focus of global institutions such as the WHO.

The Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference was convened by IAPAC in partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Fast-Track Cities Institute, and with sponsorship support from Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

 

Highlights from Fast-Track Cities Case Studies


Public health experts and civic leaders from Atlanta, Bangkok, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kigali, Kyiv, Lisbon, London, Lusaka, Maputo City, Mexico City, Milan, Melbourne, Montréal, New York City, Paris, São Paulo, and Yaoundé described how local communities have responded and adapted to the impact of COVID-19, especially with respect to people living with HIV, tuberculosis, and HCV.

Representatives from European cities said that they were generally able to harness innovations such as telemedicine to maintain health services, particularly for marginalized populations such as migrants, homeless people, and people who use drugs. Olena Lukashevych from the Kyiv City Public Health Centre in the Ukraine stressed that supply chain disruptions persist for the provision of personal protective equipment, medicines, and testing capacity.

Simon Ruth of Thorne Harbour Health in Melbourne, Australia, said that social media messaging has been one of the primary forms of communication during the severe lockdowns that have been seen recently, particularly in the state of Victoria where he operates. He noted that it is currently unclear to what extent reported declines in new infections of HBV (22%), HCV (22%), syphilis (5%), HIV (10%), and gonorrhea (20%) represent reduced use of testing services or actual declines in sexual activity.

Suilanji Sivile from the Rwandan Ministry of Health testified that although his country has so far avoided any “catastrophic” incidents, such as running out of supplies, the country has nevertheless been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that some people living with HIV in Kigali and across Rwanda have had to switch to alternative antiretroviral medications when their normal medicine is in short supply due to stock-outs.

Maputo City Council representative Bélia Nyambir Xirinda emphasized the role of creating safe spaces for people infected with and recovered from COVID-19, adding that although the capital city accounts for 25% of the confirmed cases in Mozambique, only 28 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 across the country at large.

“The [COVID-19] epidemic has moved from more urban to more rural communities,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emery University in Atlanta, GA, USA, who reported that although the State of Georgia has made tremendous progress, dropping to a current rate of 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, much work remains to end the public emergency locally and abroad. “The impact on HIV has not been as significant as we thought it would be,” said del Rio, however, he warned that underlying comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension remain a cause for concern regardless of a person’s HIV status.

“A lot of things that seemed impossible six months ago have now become possible,” said Dr. Anisha Gandhi of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who also said she believes the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for systemic change.

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci Reviews COVID-19 Science at Fast-Track Cities Conference on HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci Reviews COVID-19 Science at Fast-Track Cities Conference on HIV, TB, and Viral Hepatitis

Mayors of Atlanta, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Lisbon, and Quezon City Discuss Urban Crisis Leadership during Public Health Emergencies

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (September 9, 2020) – Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), opened the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference today on a cautious note, reminding the more than 1,500 online delegates that scientific progress against COVID-19 must rest on a solid foundation of evidence science and influenced by sound public health policies.

Dr. Fauci emphasized that, although people living with HIV who are on effective treatment are not at increased risk of severe COVID-19 complications, people who have underlying co-morbidities are at an elevated risk. He expressed hope that a safe and effective vaccine would be approved soon:

“We would hope that by the time we get to the end of this calendar year that we would have a vaccine that is both safe and effective,” said Dr. Fauci, who noted that millions of vaccine doses are already being prepared once a candidate receives authorization. In response to a follow-up question about the intersection of politics and public health policy, he remarked, “You have to be able to function in the context of good health practices when it seems that everything is politicized.”

The Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference is the second annual gathering of more than 300 cities and municipalities around the world that are committed to ending their HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis epidemics by 2030. Progress towards this commitment has been interrupted by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused disruptions in HIV and other health services worldwide.

“IAPAC is proud of the healthcare workers who are putting themselves on the line to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the scientists and public health experts working to develop and prepare for the distribution of vaccines and treatments using time-tested trial and approval processes,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC, which is co-convening the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Fast-Track Cities Institute.

Echoing an assertion he made in a commentary published today in the journal AIDS Reviews, Dr. Zuniga indicated that the public health response to SARS-CoV-2 got a head-start by relying on the existing infrastructure that was built to end the HIV epidemic, but that leveraging that infrastructure served to disrupt a continuity of health services care for people living with HIV, TB, viral hepatitis, and other chronic diseases.

“In the midst of this global public health crisis, civic leaders at all levels of government are recognizing the urgent need to repair the cracks in our health infrastructure that have been laid bare by COVID-19 and to improve preparedness for future pandemics,” Dr. Zuniga added. “We cannot end any epidemic until everyone has equal access to the prevention, testing, and treatment services that are essential elements of the human right to health.”

Today’s program included four cross-cutting plenaries focused on confronting the COVID-19 “infodemic” as a public health threat; addressing health disparities contributing to uneven COVID-19 outcomes in communities of color; facilitating the continuity of HIV and other health responses (e.g., TB, viral hepatitis; and addressing the fragility that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed in almost every health system worldwide).

The conference’s second day (September 10, 2020) will feature clinical case studies from 18 Fast-Track Cities from around the world to illustrate public health leadership in responding to COVID-19 in urban areas. These illustrative case studies (including Atlanta, Bangkok, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kigali, Kyiv, Lisbon, London, Lusaka, Maputo City, Mexico City, Milan, Melbourne, Montréal, New York City, Paris, São Paulo, and Yaoundé) will report on the latest data trends and disruptions to health services, highlight innovations to maintain continuity of care for people living with HIV and other chronic diseases, and offer emerging insights about pandemic preparedness.

The conference will conclude on Thursday, September 10, 2020, with a closing panel of global public health experts representing UNAIDS; the World Health Organization (WHO); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); UNITE (a global network of national parliamentarians); and the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC). The panel will discuss how best to implement mitigation strategies to protect hard-won gains towards attaining HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis targets.

The live program at the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference follows a day of pre-recorded, pre-conference sessions that aired September 8, 2020. The conference is made possible through corporate sponsorship from Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

Registration for the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference and access to the pre-conference sessions is available free-of-charge.

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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.

Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 Conference to Focus on Urban COVID-19 and HIV

Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 Conference to Focus on Urban COVID-19 and HIV

In-Person Fast-Track Cities 2021 Conference to Convene in Lisbon

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (June 24, 2020) – The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) is transitioning its Fast-Track Cities 2020 in-person conference to an online format due to ongoing public health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference will be held September 9-10, 2020, with a focus on urban HIV responses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to a high-level panel and themed plenary sessions, the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference program will feature case studies from more than 20 Fast-Track Cities, including Atlanta, Bangkok, Johannesburg, Kyiv, Melbourne, Montréal, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, and São Paulo. The case studies will offer urban snapshots of disruptions to HIV services and innovations deployed to maintain a continuity of HIV services.

IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga has also announced that an in-person Fast-Track Cities 2021 conference will be held March 22-25, 2021, in Lisbon. The first day will be comprised of pre-conference events. The formal conference will take place March 23-25, 2021, and will include a high-level panel hosted by Lisbon Mayor Fernando Medina to discuss the impact of drug policies on reducing harm among people who use drugs (PWUD), which has had a significant impact in reducing new HIV cases among PWUD in Lisbon and Portugal.

“We regret missing an opportunity to bring current and prospective Fast-Track Cities together in Lisbon this year. However, we are eager to maintain our momentum by hosting the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference, with the expectation that by March 2021 we can facilitate the intercity networking and best practice-sharing that were hallmarks of last year’s inaugural Fast-Track Cities 2019 conference in London,” Dr. Zuniga explained.

The Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 and Fast-Track Cities 2021 conferences are organized by IAPAC, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Fast-Track Cities Institute, and other partners.

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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

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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.