A World AIDS Day with Equity at the Center

We are excited to release a new edition of our PxPulse podcast New Products are Needed and a New Paradigm is Essential: A new era in prevention?

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Tomorrow will be the 34th anniversary of World AIDS Day. It comes as countries around the world are approving diverse new options for PrEP, and the uptake of oral PrEP is reaching new heights. For the first time, the HIV response can offer the choice of multiple biomedical options—some long acting, some user controlled, some daily—that protect against HIV. At this critical juncture, global conversations are underway that could leverage this new era of choice and fundamentally reimagine how the world delivers prevention, not just for HIV but as a new paradigm for global health equity and impact. At AVAC, we have been talking about the unprecedented opportunity to dramatically reduce the number of new infections, and to lay the foundation to overcome systemic inequities in global health.

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This podcast explores these questions in depth and features PEPFAR Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong; Kenneth Mwehonge, Executive Director of HEPS-Uganda and former AVAC Advocacy Fellow; and Lilian Benjamin Mwakyosi, the Executive Director of DARE in Tanzania and former AVAC Advocacy Fellow. Listen to the full podcast here, and listen to this snippet of Amb. Nkengasong in his appeal for an aggressive strategy to scale up combination prevention, including injectable cabotegravir for PrEP.

As we reflect on so many 2022 milestones—the 7th replenishment of the Global Fund, new leadership and a new strategic direction at PEPFAR, the launch of the Pandemic Fund, the launch of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition 2025 Roadmap, the introduction of the dapivirine vaginal ring and injectable cabotegravir for PrEP—we call on our global community to join us in marking this a turning point toward reaching equity and impact in HIV prevention.

This World AIDS Day:

These actions to advance HIV prevention, and end the epidemic by 2030, represent a model that can and should be adapted to any intervention, any product, and to any public health threat. These actions are the recipe to finally arrive at a world without AIDS and to realize equity in global health.

Advocacy: Now more than ever

“If you think the days of advocacy are over, you’re crazy. We need the energy of the ‘80s and ‘90s now more than ever.”

That’s what Tony Fauci said earlier today, during a conversation we had with him to reflect on his legacy and the future of the global AIDS response and public health generally. It was an extraordinary moment of candor and reflection as we talked about what’s been accomplished in the HIV and COVID-19 responses, what’s ahead and what the future looks like for NIAID, Dr. Fauci, and pandemic preparedness.

Among many highlights in that conversation was hearing Dr. Fauci, who has often talked about the importance of community engagement and civil society leadership in shaping the research agenda, call out the urgent need for advocates and activists to raise their voices and engage leaders at every level. It’s a crucial ingredient to ensure all the options for prevention, including new long-acting interventions, reach everyone who needs it.

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We couldn’t agree with Dr. Fauci more! AVAC was founded 27 years ago, and we are more committed than ever to this essential work and to advancing global health equity with our many partners, who day in and day out bring their passion, vision and dedication to ending AIDS. It’s these partnerships that will drive success, and your support that makes it possible!

Whether it’s convening conversations between communities and health leaders, tracking and translating the field, or building coalitions to set an agenda for access—at AVAC we understand the importance of bringing people together, of ensuring that vitally important conversations get the time and focus needed to identify priorities and take on the challenges. Coming together, listening, learning and defining next steps is the key to a deeper, more sustained engagement, one that will catalyze solutions that bring prevention to everyone who needs it.

Tomorrow, as part of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, we ask you to consider supporting AVAC and our work bringing people together, identifying solutions, and putting them into action, with all the energy that Dr. Fauci described:

  • Donate: Visit www.avac.org/donate.
  • Amazon Smile: Shop at Amazon.com? Visit smile.amazon.com and select AVAC as your charity of choice and a portion of your purchase price is donated to AVAC – at no additional cost to you!
  • US Combined Federal Campaign: If you are a US government employee, support our mission through the Combined Federal Campaign, CFC #12308.

We are continually energized, and inspired, by the opportunities to work with so many remarkable individuals and organizations around the world – and we thank you for your support, which allows us to continue this critical work as part of a comprehensive and integrated pathway to global health equity.

Join Us November 28 for A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Next month Dr. Anthony Fauci will step down from his role leading the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) after a half a century of public service. His vision, passion, and commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic and advancing global health equity has been an inspiration to AVAC and to so many. As we contemplate the gap Dr. Fauci leaves and the work ahead to ensure the hard-fought gains in public health under his leadership are not lost, AVAC will sit down with Dr. Fauci for a conversation looking back and looking ahead. Join us!

Much Accomplished, Much to Do: A Conversation Looking Back & Looking Ahead with Tony Fauci

Monday, November 28 at 11:30am EDT; 19h30 EAT

Register here

The Pandemic Fund Launches: What you need to know

Earlier this week at the G20 Leaders Summit in Indonesia, the Pandemic Fund was officially launched. This fund is intended to provide resources to and strengthen the capacity of low- and middle-income countries in mitigating the risks of future global health threats.

Ahead of the meeting, AVAC joined the Pandemic Action Network and 50+ civil society groups urging G20 leaders to ramp up action so everyone has the tools to curb COVID-19 and improve resilience to and prevent future pandemics.

In addition, AVAC joined a number of US-organizations in a letter to US Government officials urging them to adhere to four lessons learned in pandemic preparedness and response.

While this new Pandemic Fund represents progress, advocates know from HIV, TB and COVID-19 that meaningful inclusion of civil society and communities in decision-making around the global architecture of pandemic preparedness and response (PPR) is essential. But there’s risk civil society could end up excluded from key points in the process, resulting in catastrophic failure to allocate resources to those that need them most.

AVAC has compiled a few resources to keep you informed and engaged.

This Thursday, November 17, the Interim Civil Society Board members of the Pandemic Fund will host a town hall meeting to share information and updates on the Pandemic Fund, its governing processes, decisions taken and tasks ahead, and invite feedback from civil society and community colleagues. Register for the Zoom meeting!

In a new blog post, AVAC’s Multilateral & PPR Advocacy Specialist, Samantha Rick, shares key takeaways from the World Health Summit earlier this month, which casts a light on what’s happening with PPR and what it all means for HIV.

In a new Viewpoint in the Lancet HIV, Living with COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics: revisiting lessons from the HIV pandemic, Judy Auerbach and colleagues make the case for more dialogue among polarized perspectives, identifying shared priorities, and drawing on multidisciplinary evidence to better apply lessons learned from COVID-19 to emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

@PandemicAction: The Pandemic Action Network is a partnership of global health organizations driving action to end the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the world is prepared for the next pandemic threat.

And continue to watch this space.

New Issue of PxWire!

PrEP Tracker data, preparing for new products, the HIV prevention pipeline and our prevention “playlist.” All that and more in the latest issue of PxWire.

The World Health Summit: Hitting the target, or missing the mark?

In mid-October, AVAC attended the World Health Summit in Berlin. Historically hosted by the German government, this year marked the first time the Summit was jointly led with the WHO (World Health Organization).

While there was lots to talk about in the three days of the summit, four areas for the coming year are clear priorities.


Structures that worked

The global response to COVID-19, particularly the collective failures in preventing spread and severe disease and death, dominated WHS 2022. Bright spots in the global response were noted throughout the meeting—systems known as infection prevention and control (IPC), set up in response to Ebola and HIV/AIDS, were successfully deployed in many places against COVID-19. But glaring gaps stood out. Questions around equity in the distribution of vaccines and treatments, manufacturing capacity, and cooperation across governments were pushed off to next year’s summit. Still, the laser focus on strengthening structures to respond to future pandemics was long overdue. For years, few have prioritized resources for pandemics, even as HIV/AIDS, cholera, hepatitis, and Ebola posed chronic challenges.

Other COVID highlights

In one session devoted to HIV/AIDS (featuring inaugural Virchow Prize winner PEPFAR Ambassador John Nkengasong), some panelists called for increased domestic resource mobilization. This issue is complex and deserves attention. Overall, national government funding makes up 60 percent of global HIV/AIDS resources, and countries are facing compounding challenges in raising funds for public health due to increasing need to divert domestic resources to debt repayment. Just this past week, advocates wrapped up the inaugural Africa Health R&D Week where community leaders discussed the importance of and challenges involved in increasing domestic financing of research and development in African countries. Advocates at the World Health Summit noted that many of the major failures in the COVID-19 response occurred in high-income countries, for example in the US. Some of the most successful responses were mounted in Senegal, Ghana, Vietnam, and many Pacific Island nations, and we saw successful vaccine rollouts in Chile, Uruguay, Nepal, and Cambodia. One shortcoming from the program as a whole was that the summit featured far too few speakers and advocates from countries that had success in stopping the spread in spite of funding constraints.

Community Engagement

WHO Initiatives

Meaningful inclusion of civil society & communities, or the lack thereof, was a major theme of the summit. A town hall with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted new (and almost new) initiatives to broaden the range of voices included in decision-shaping at the WHO (though all decisions are still finalized by Member States only): a recently launched WHO Youth Council and the Civil Society Commission. The Civil Society Commission will be accepting applications in the coming months.

Beyond WHO

Mechanisms for civil society and community engagement were proposed or interrogated during Q&A portions of nearly every session, showing the real appetite among advocates for more meaningful inclusion in decision-making, particularly in forthcoming decisions on the global architecture of pandemic preparedness and response (PPR).

The formation of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to draw up a global PPR agreement and the possibly linked Pandemic Fund (officially launched this week at the G20 Summit), developed by a coalition of donor countries, both present great opportunities for civil society participation. But there’s equal risk civil society could end up excluded from key points in the process, resulting in catastrophic failure to allocate resources to those that need them most.

Where is the money?

All roads lead to primary health care – that was the conclusion reached at every session. The answer to reaching the ‘last mile,’ to expanding access to the most vulnerable groups and key populations, to health system resiliency in the face of concurrent pandemics, to routine immunization challenges, and to quality surveillance of emerging threats is a strong, robustly staffed primary health system in every country. Advocates, institutional leaders, and multilateral champions are all aligned on this, but the funding hasn’t yet followed. As siloed, disease-specific emergency funding continues to drive the world’s efforts (even at WHS with large new commitments to polio from the German government and the Gates Foundation), where is the funding for health systems? Historically, global health security initiatives have not sufficiently considered the role of primary health systems in pandemic prevention and response. High-income countries and donors have typically been much more interested in surveillance, epidemiology, and monitoring than broad health systems strengthening. With no other global funding mechanism devoted to building such a foundation, Pandemic Fund presents a real opportunity to jumpstart global commitment to strong, inclusive, resilient health systems that are ready to weather future challenges. These health systems are prerequisites for hitting targets against global health threats, and finally overcoming decades-long challenges.

What does all of this mean for HIV?

The global attention to PPR structures presents a critical opportunity to drive progress toward the 2030 goals. The systems and structures created by the HIV/AIDS response provide a model for what to do and what not to do. Infrastructure and stakeholder engagement, with civil society recognized as equal partners, have brought innovation and measurable success. But progress has been uneven and unequal, with key populations continuing to be left behind, and far too many decisions controlled by Global North decision-makers. The institutions and groups working on PPR now have much to learn. Integration of global health priorities is essential to meeting 2030 goals. Those ‘in the room where it happens’ must prioritize comprehensive inclusion of community and civil society and growing the pot of resources to address health inequities, and retaining commitment to ending current pandemics and epidemic threats as much as future ones.


The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) convenes next week November 14- 17, in Pattaya City, Thailand. ICFP is the world’s largest gathering of family planning (FP) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) professionals in the world and is a platform for advocates, researchers, and stakeholders to help achieve access to family planning for all.

At AVAC we know that making options real choices is key to effective prevention. We’ll be at ICFP advocating for multilayered prevention, an approach that can—and should—integrate both SRH and HIV information, services and products, including multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs), such as condoms or the Dual Prevention Pill; and embed these services and products in “multisectoral strategies”, such as policy reform, community norms-changing and economic empowerment. Learn more about how SRH integration should be at the center of products, policies, and programs in a video called “What Does Successful HIV/SRH Integration Require?”.

Follow AVAC and FP2030 for more on-the-ground updates at ICFP, and be on the lookout for a special Twitter takeover from AVAC’s own Kate Segal who will share a day-of perspective on November 15 live from our Twitter feed!

If you are participating in ICFP, make sure to check out AVAC’s sessions below.

Tuesday, November 15 – Wednesday, November 16

The DPP (Dual Prevention Pill) would be a revolutionary tool to prevent HIV and unintended pregnancy. It is one of the many multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) products poised to address multiple health prevention needs. Although a lot of the groundwork of the DPP is in place, including a coalition of organizations committed to the acceleration of the product named The DPP Project, there is still much work to be done to advocate meaningful investment in communities and ensuring universal access when rollout happens.

Tuesday, November 15


An all-Inclusive Look: Tailored FP Services to Meet the Needs of LGBTI groups, with FP2030, where AVAC will have the opportunity to present our commitment to take specific actions to expand access to voluntary, rights-based contraception.

Wednesday, November 16

10:15 – 11:30

Nothing About Us Without Us: Putting Advocates at the Forefront from Product Development to Delivery, where Advocacy for Prevention of HIV & AIDS (APHA), Pangaea Zimbabwe Aids Trust (PZAT), and AVAC will discuss the critical role advocates have played in advancing HIV prevention products through the pipeline and the need to ensure research, development and delivery of additional multipurpose prevention products (MPTs) and new contraceptives leverage these experiences and networks.

Join Us for Africa R&D Health Week

AVAC, IAVI, the Coalition to Accelerate & Support Prevention Research (CASPR) and stakeholders invite you to the inaugural Africa Health R&D Week, November 8 – 11, a week-long virtual event intended to build on international, continental, and regional advocacy efforts towards increasing domestic financing of research and development as a critical component of health in Africa. Register here.

The event will feature a range of speakers, including: Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, Vuyiseka Dubula, Director of the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management, Stellenbosch University, Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director of Africa CDC, as well as a panel of African researchers and advocates.

Africa Health R&D Week will be an annual forum to catalyze a continental movement that builds bridges between researchers, policymakers, regulators, civil society and community members committed to Africa’s health transformation through health.

We encourage you to register for this event, which will comprise a series of informative, networking, and motivational events for advocates, media, policymakers, program implementors, researchers, and funders. The week will help bring clarity to key issues and trends of domestic resource mobilization for health R&D on the continent.

Learn more:
Agenda / Concept Note / Flyers

Webinar Roundup — Including An Upcoming Webinar With Tony Fauci!

In October AVAC’s calendar of webinars took on a range of topics, each crucial for the field, and November’s webinars will be just as rich and diverse. Read on for highlights from October’s discussions and related resources, and be sure to register for webinars and events that are coming up this month, including a Fireside Chat with Tony Fauci!

Upcoming Webinars and Meetings

PEP Needs Some Pep! Addressing PEP Neglect in HIV Prevention Research, Programming and Uptake
Thursday, November 3 at 9:00am ET; 16h00 EAT
Register here
PEP, post-exposure-prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention intervention marked by both great promise and profound neglect. PEP works, but far too few people know about, or when and how to obtain this valuable intervention. Join The Choice Agenda for a discussion with James Ayieko, Julie Fox, Ken Mayer, Catherine Koss, Njambi Njuguna and Ace Robinson.

Africa Health R&D Week 2022
November 8 – 11, 2022, virtual
Register here
Join AVAC, IAVI, CASPR and others for a continental forum on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) for health research and development (R&D) in Africa. This week-long program for advocates, media, policymakers, program implementers, researchers, and funders will bring clarity to key issues and trends of DRM for health R&D in Africa.
Agenda / Concept Note / Flyers

Reintroducing PrEPWatch
Thursday, November 10 at 9:00am EDT; 17h00 EAT
Register here
Join us as we introduce AVAC’s updated PrEPWatch.org, a one-stop clearinghouse for the latest PrEP data on implementation and uptake, resources, and information on PrEP policies, programs and products, approved and in development. During this webinar, we’ll share:

  • New data on PrEP rollout worldwide and by country.
  • New ways to access global and country-specific PrEP resources for PrEP planning and advocacy.
  • Stories of innovation from the field.
  • Toolkits for each phase of planning, from policies & budgets to monitoring & evaluation, and everything in between.

Much Accomplished, Much to Do: A Conversation Looking Back & Looking Ahead with Tony Fauci
Monday, November 28 at 11:30am EDT; 18h30 EAT
Register here
Join AVAC for a conversation with NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci as we discuss all that’s been accomplished in the HIV and COVID-19 responses over the years, what’s ahead, and what the future looks like for NIAID, for Dr. Fauci and for pandemic preparedness.

Recordings and Resources

Doxycycline for STI prevention: Evidence and Current Research
Featuring Dr. Connie Celum, Jennifer Mahn, Dr. Victor Omollo, Rodney Perkins and Dr. Jenell Stewart
Recording / Slides / Resources

Private Sector Delivery Opportunities for the Dual Prevention Pill (DPP): Lessons from family planning (FP) for the introduction of multi-purpose prevention technologies (MPTs)
Co-hosted by AVAC and FP2030, this webinar highlighted findings from a report on private sector opportunities for the DPP and explored lessons from the family planning field
Recording / Slides / Resources

RINGing the Bell for Choice: Actions and Solutions on Dapivirine Ring (DVR) Access
The Choice Agenda hosted a conversation around the latest in DVR advocacy last month. Watch the webinar, explore up-to-date resources on DVR, and sign-up for The Choice Agenda listserv—a growing community of over 800 prevention advocates and counting.

HIVR4P To Take Place in Lima and Virtually in October 2023

IAS – the International AIDS Society – will host HIVR4P 2023, the 5th HIV Research for Prevention Conference, in Lima, Peru, and virtually from 22 to 26 October 2023. Learn more.