AVAC’s Annual Partners Forum

April 1, 2014

From February 11-13 more than 80 advocates from throughout sub-Saharan Africa gathered in Harare, Zimbabwe, for AVAC’s Advocacy Partners’ Forum, an annual event to take stock of recent developments in HIV prevention research and implementation and to develop a strategy for the coming year.

Highlights of this year’s Forum included plenary presentations on Kenya’s “Prevention Revolution Roadmap”—one example of how a country is structuring its approach to high-impact prevention; a review of the questions surrounding hormonal contraceptives and HIV risk; and energetic small-group discussions on the many steps on the “research-to-rollout” continuum.

Key interventions discussed included voluntary medical male circumcision and non-surgical devices, PrEP, microbicides, vaccines and treatment as prevention. Participants spent a portion of the final day planning for various scenarios that could emerge from the ongoing trials of microbicides, including 1% tenofovir gel, and the dapivirine ring.

Our partners truly shone throughout the three-day meeting. In addition to delivering plenaries and facilitating sessions, each day started with partners’ short talks in a session called, “Good morning, here’s what keeps me up at night…”, a concept inspired by the TED Talk model. One of the talks from this series is reproduced below.

Throughout the Forum, participants emphasized the importance of comprehensive and authentic civil society engagement. AVAC is working with partners through a new “strategic initiatives” effort that seeks to link interested individuals in short, focused advocacy efforts to respond to key emerging issues. If you’d like to take part or learn more, email us—and you don’t need to have attended the Forum to join in.

To learn more about the issues, check out AVAC’s Research & Reality webinar series, which is a year-long dialogue about key issues facing biomedical prevention advocacy today.