December 2, 2021
The biennial International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, ICASA, will take place this year December 6 – 11, in Durban South Africa and virtually (register here). ICASA launched over two decades ago to offer an African platform for leaders, scientists, activists and community to frame the challenges, track the science and push innovation in the HIV response. As COVID-19 continues to ravage communities, disrupt the response to HIV and force the world to confront profound inequity in global health, partners across the field have been dogged in their advocacy to lose no ground to COVID-19, adapt and demand solutions that work.
“The world has missed crucial targets for HIV prevention, and COVID-19 has further undermined hard-won progress. But the unparalleled innovation of these last 20 months have offered new models of collaboration, adaptation and investment. We are coming together now to exchange what we’ve learned and embolden each other. Because the time to act is now, when the entire world has been forced to see the impact of inequity, and that no one is safe until everyone is safe.” Rosemary Mburu, WACI Health executive director, CASPR partner and featured speaker at the Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum and other sessions at ICASA.
ICASA 2021 will feature a host of events, and AVAC and partners will be there exploring in depth where and how the response to the dual pandemics must dismantle the structural barriers to health faced by key populations, intensify demands for robust domestic and global funding for health, accelerate and expand access to prevention options, integrate HIV services with sexual and reproductive health, and more. Scroll down for a roadmap to ICASA’s prevention sessions, and details on sessions and events that we don’t want to miss.
- Go to our dedicated page for ICASA 2021 for updates on this schedule
- Download the ICASA Prevention Roadmap
- Follow the conversation on Twitter
Sessions of Interest
Sunday, December 5
09:00-16:00 SAST / 11:00-15:00 EAT / 02:00-09:00 ET
Open to all young people, join this event for workshops, break-out sessions and discussions on youth leadership, resilience and innovation toward the 2030 targets for ending the epidemic. Organized by Y+. Free and open to all.
Gay, Bi-sexual and Men who have Sex with Men (GBMSM) preconference
11:00-16:30 SAST / 12:00-17:30 EAT / 04:00-09:30 ET
Join health and human rights advocates at this combination virtual and in-person event to take stock of the status of advocacy and activism, kickstart a conversation on sustainability for GBMSM programming across Africa, and define aspirations for health and rights going forward. Organized by Black Gay Men Connect, PAI, UKPC, Fierté Afrique Francophone, APHA, GALZ, GHPN Ke and AVAC. Free and open to all.
Monday, December 6
PSI: Realizing the Benefits of U=U in National HIV Programs
10:40-11:25 SAST / 11:40-12:25 EAT / 03:40-04:25 ET
This session explores the prevention impact of supporting people living with HIV to remain virally suppressed, and the importance of programming that understands that undetectable HIV is untransmissible, U=U.
Examining How National Laws/Policies Impact the Global AIDS Response
11:35-12:15 SAST / 12:35-13:15 EAT / 04:35-05:15 ET
This special session will draw from insights and analysis from the HIV Policy Lab and feature a panel discussion on the intersection of policy, equity and ending the epidemic.
The Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum pre-conference
12:25-15:00 SAST / 13:25-16:00 EAT / 05:25-08:00 ET
This event, available for virtual participation, will bring together front-line providers, advocates, community, researchers and policy makers to frame what’s needed now for HIV prevention in Africa, in the context of COVID-19. Discussions will include updates on scientific advances, and how to strengthen African-led advocacy for prevention research. The gathering will also put a spotlight on advocacy to beef up domestic spending on health systems and research in Africa.
PROMISE Collaboration: Launching PrEP-it 2.0
13:30-14:05 SAST / 14:30-15:05 EAT / 06:30-07:05 ET
This satellite symposia explores an innovative online platform for planning, monitoring and evaluating PrEP agents. This session will showcase how the platform has been used to set evidence-based targets, project costs and estimate impact.
Tuesday, December 7
No Prevention, No End. Taking the lead in implement the 2025 HIV Roadmap
10:42-11:27 SAST / 11:42-12:27 EAT / 03:42-04:27 ET
This session looks at the recommendations from the Global HIV Prevention Coalitions Working Group to reach key goals by 2025. Discussion will also focus on the role of political and community leadership and successful practices in the HIV response.
Resource Mobilization for HIV, TB, Malaria and Pandemic Preparedness
13:30-15:30 SAST / 14:30-16:30 EAT / 06:30-08:30 ET
For those attending ICASA in person, this event looks at factors shaping health financing, and extends the ongoing conversation on increasing domestic spending on the health sector. At the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, sponsored by the GFAN Africa and the Global Fund.
Wednesday, December 8
Providing Alternative HIV Prevention Tools For High-risk Populations in Eastern Africa. Dapivirine Ring Could be a Game Changer
10:30-11:15 SAST / 11:30-12:15 EAT / 03:30-04:15 ET
A look at the potential impact of this new addition to the HIV prevention toolbox and next steps to make it accessible.
The Dual Prevention Pill (DPP): What advocates need and want to know
17:00-18:00 SAST / 18:00-19:00 EAT / 10:00-11:00 ET
Join AVAC and AYARHEP for a discussion on the Dual Prevention Pill (DPP), a combination pill in development that prevents HIV and pregnancy. If approved, it would be the first multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) available since male and female condoms. What information on the DPP do you need to inform your advocacy? We hope you’ll join the discussion!
Thursday, December 9
Biomedical HIV prevention for men in a time of a pandemic: Amplifying our gains and increasing in scale, impact, and sustainability of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) beyond 2021
13:33-14:18 SAST / 14:33-15:18 EAT / 06:33-07:18 ET
This satellite session looks at the impact of VMMC and how to sustain it. A panel discussion will focus on action steps needed from implementers, policy makers, civil society and other decision-makers.
Conducting 2nd Generation surveillance during a pandemic in Nigeria: lessons learnt
13:33-14:18 SAST / 14:33-15:18 EAT / 06:33-07:18 ET
Nigeria’s efforts to maintain HIV services during COVID-19 offer key lessons for the field.
What’s new from WHO: “Guidelines for validation of elimination of mother to child/vertical transmission of HIV, STI and Hepatitis
14:30-15:15 SAST / 15:30-16:15 EAT / 07:00-08:15 ET
Updates on the WHO guidelines and their implications for HIV prevention and HIV services.
The highlights above represent an extraordinary body of work that is urgently needed right now. And this is just a small sample. To follow happenings and discussions from ICASA watch this space, and follow #ICASA2021 on Twitter.