December 22, 2014
We often refer to AVAC as a translation organization—translating complex scientific concepts to a range of lay audiences and translating complex community perspectives into the scientific process. As we reflect on 2014, it’s clear that this work is as essential and necessary today as it was when AVAC was founded nearly 20 years ago.
From public health programs introducing daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), to clinical trials of passive immunization with broadly-neutralizing antibodies, biomedical HIV prevention is complex, dynamic and in motion. And in this fast-changing world, it remains our commitment and our daily work to partner with activists and advocates to ensure that we all keep up.
This means keeping up the pressure on normative agencies and donors to be specific, strategic and reality-based in target-setting and implementation. It means sitting down in small groups and large webinars to understand the ramifications of the latest trial results. It means keeping up the call for full funding for HIV research and implementation because we all know that the AIDS crisis isn’t over.
The generous support of our members and donors has been critical to build and mobilize a global network of partners to increase awareness and understanding of the current state—and the future—of HIV prevention research and implementation, and we hope you will continue to support us with your work, wisdom and resources in the coming year.
Next year will be as fast-paced as ever. In the first quarter of 2015, there will be detailed data from two oral PrEP studies in gay men and other MSM in Europe. The FACTS 001 trial of tenofovir gel is also preparing to release data. And several other key HIV prevention trials will be getting underway. All of this will happen in the context of ambitious treatment and prevention targets and diminished funding. With your support, AVAC can be there—to engage, communicate and advocate.
In 2014, your support and collaboration allowed us to:
- Launch a fully redesigned version of our website, www.avac.org, and introduce the AVAC blog, P-Values, which features regular updates from staff, partners and contributors from around the HIV prevention field.
- Work with a diverse coalition to conceive and pilot what will become a full HIV/AIDS cure curriculum for advocates and others interested in cure science and advocacy.
- Catalyze global and country-specific advocacy for daily oral PrEP.
- Launch the online curriculum for the Good Participatory Practice Guidelines—now recognized as the fundamental guidance for stakeholder engagement in research.
- Develop user-friendly materials to translate the complexities of AIDS vaccine science for “busy advocates”.
- Work with civil society, researchers and product developers to prepare for various scenarios of upcoming microbicide trial results.
- Amplify civil society issues and priorities regarding research on hormonal contraception and HIV risk, in close collaboration with African women’s groups.
- Partner with advocates in Malawi, South Africa and Uganda to track investments in and roll out of VMMC.
- Hold a year-long dialogue on emerging issues via our Research & Reality webinar series.
- Launch a new COMPASS grants program focused on strategic action on multiple issues, and identify our sixth class of HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Fellows.
- Lead civil society engagement at the HIV Research for Prevention conference – HIV R4P – the first global conference to cover all forms of biomedical HIV prevention.
- Lead resource tracking efforts across the research agenda, including the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group, HIV Cure Research Resource Tracking and HIV Treatment Research Resource Tracking.
- … and much more! Be sure to sign up for our Advocates’ Network e-list for the latest in the field and the work of AVAC and its partners.
Please consider making a contribution at www.avac.org/donate. You can also shop online at Amazon via smile.amazon.com and select “AVAC” and a portion of your purchase is donated to us—at no additional cost to you.
We are proud of the work to date—now entering our 20th year as an organization—and we are continually energized and inspired by the opportunities to work with so many remarkable individuals and organizations.
Many thanks in advance for your continued support!