AVAC hosted a two-day training “Rave” at its New York office in April. This annual workshop brings together US-based advocates from AVAC’s PxROAR (Prevention Research Outreach Advocacy and Representation) program for an intensive update on the latest in the field of biomedical HIV prevention research and implementation, and provides a space for advocacy strategizing. This year’s focus was on treatment as prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The recently expanded US ROAR team hails mainly from the 12 US municipalities bearing the highest AIDS burden in the country, as identified by the US Health and Human Services National HIV/AIDS Strategy Operational Plan. ROAR members are already active on the frontlines of the AIDS response in these areas and will be expanding or strengthening their work on treatment as prevention and PrEP. In one initiative discussed at the April meeting, PxROAR members decided to examine available data on rates of uptake of HIV testing, linkage to care, initiation of and long-term adherence to ART. They hope to use information on these “treatment cascades” to guide advocacy at the state and city level. They also plan to work with PrEP demonstration projects and research sites to spread the word about this prevention strategy. For more detail about US ROAR’s pursuits, read the PxROAR Advocacy Guide for US ARV-based Prevention Campaign.
AVAC also hosted a “Rave” for its European partners. This month’s Brussels meeting brought together advocates from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. Participants discussed soliciting new European ROAR members and strategized around securing and sustaining European funding for research and implementation of ARV-based prevention. Jean-Daniel Lelièvre’s from France’s INSERM provided an update on European research towards a cure. His presentation underscored the need for advocacy directed at national governments and the European Commission to maintain funding for research even during difficult economic times.
Also in Europe, AVAC is collaborating with UK-based NAM/AIDSMAP on a series of webinars for HIV prevention advocates in Europe. On Tuesday, June 11 we will be holding a webinar on HIV cure research. Sign up for our Advocates’ Network newsletter to be notified when more information is available.