Prevention Advocacy at the US Conference on AIDS

September 9, 2015

While the US Conference on AIDS (USCA) only officially begins tomorrow, activities are well underway in Washington, DC, as providers, frontline workers, activists and others working on HIV/AIDS in the United States gear up for this annual event.

Today, over 200 people are gathered for the Black PrEP Summit, organized by the Black AIDS Institute in partnership with a dozen community partners, including AVAC and members of our PxROAR program. The goal of the summit is to increase knowledge and uptake of PrEP among Black people in the United States through interactive conversations with clinicians, community members and public health practitioners. Follow today’s conversation on social media at #BlackAIDS.

At the same time, advocates are taking to the halls of Congress as part of HIV Action Day, and meeting with elected officials to discuss HIV/AIDS funding, syringe exchange and protecting/preserving the Affordable Care Act.

Prevention advocacy will be in full effect at USCA 2015 with a range of sessions (see the USCA website for the full schedule). We highlight below a handful of sessions that AVAC and our PxROAR partners are leading at the conference. And follow the prevention conversation and more throughout the conference on social media at #USCA2015 and @hivpxresearch and on AVAC’s P-Values blog.

Thursday, September 10

Accelerating the Uptake of Daily Oral PrEP with Truvada While Integrating Treatment and Preparing for Additional PrEP Strategies
10:30am – 12:00pm; Shaw, Meeting Level 3
Evidence shows that daily oral PrEP can reduce risk of HIV by more than 90 percent and, that when effectively targeted to those at risk, can be cost-saving given the reduced levels of new infections. This workshop will address the importance of overcoming barriers to PrEP uptake as well as unpack recent research results and look to new data that are expected in the coming years. Session attendees will be able to cite the evidence and engage in cogent dialogue in support of uptake in their respective communities nationwide.

Decoding HIV Cure Science: A CUREiculum Seminar
2:30pm – 5:30pm; Howard University, Meeting Level 1
Learn about the science behind the headlines of “cure” and discuss the current strategies being pursued in the field. Explore key ethical considerations, like treatment interruption, as well as barriers and motivators of participation in current and future trials. Work with other advocates to develop skills to discuss and disseminate information about HIV cure research in your community.

Saturday, September 12

HIV Prevention and Women: Delivering What Works and Preparing for What’s Next in the Pipeline
8:30 – 11:30am; Chinatown, Meeting Level 3
HIV prevention options for women—pills, rings and more! Want to learn more? Come hear the latest on what’s available now and what may be available soon. Network with fellow advocates and activists and gain skills (and tools) that can help you disseminate this important information—and help with access for your local community.

Prevention, Treatment and Cure: Talking About Research in Your Community
1:30 – 3:00pm; Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 151, 801 Mt Vernon Place NW
Attend this Affinity Session to learn more about HIV prevention, treatment and cure research, ongoing studies, trial ethics and more! It will also be great for anyone looking for an informal setting during which you can ask all the questions you’ve had about research and never gotten to ask!

Transgender Women and PrEP Affinity Group Launch
6:00 – 8:30pm; Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 151, 801 Mt Vernon Place NW
This Affinity Session will summarize the issues raised in the webinar on Transgender Women and PrEP held in July. Most of the session will act as a kickoff to an affinity group (a sub-set of the full US Women & PrEP Working Group) that will focus on naming and creating an advocacy agenda for transgender women and PrEP. The Transgender Women’s Affinity Group is open to transwomen, people on the trans feminine spectrum and their allies. The WG strongly believes that the voices of transwomen should be centered in the leadership of the affinity group, and would like for the decisions and the direction of the group to be led by transwomen.

Sunday, September 13

Sex Worker Visibility and the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy
8:30 – 11:30am; Gallaudet University, Meeting Level 1
Currently, sex workers are not identified as a “key population” in a number of national funding and policy agendas, including the NHAS. This can be seen as a protective factor for individuals who may be vulnerable to criminalization and/or those who may not identify with the term sex worker of feel comfortable disclosing their work or experiences to medical providers. What is lost, however, is significant. This workshop will explore the ways that sex workers are systematically excluded from domestic and international policy—from surveillance data to funding priorities—in the context of stigma and criminalization.

As always, questions or comments are welcome, and we hope to see many of you in DC this week!