Talkin’ About a Revolution: Partners in Action at the AVAC Advocacy Forum 2015

April 2, 2015

What happens when nearly 90 advocates, largely from sub-Saharan Africa, get together for three days of strategizing, information sharing and debate?

Momentum, commitment, fierce questioning and profound urgency seize the room. If those sound like the ingredients of a revolution—well, you’re not far off.

That’s AVAC’s perspective, looking at our annual Advocacy Partners’ Forum that concluded last week in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is the fifth year of the Partners’ Forum, which is an annual, in-person gathering of an expanding network of partners working on the frontlines of prevention research and implementation around the world.

Every year brings different issues to reflect on. We follow the research, the money, the plans at country level for implementing treatment and combination prevention.

This year, these threads led us to a nexus of issues that cry out for immediate, consolidated action. These include:

  • Expanding the number of countries sorting out where and how oral PrEP can be used as a prevention option for individuals at risk;
  • Engaging with UNAIDS’ “Fast Track Targets” that include the “90-90-90” goals for HIV testing, ART initiation and virologic suppression—but are not limited to it, as primary prevention mustn’t be left behind;
  • Analyzing the research pipeline of vaccines, passive immunization and injectable PrEP to try to understand what’s happening when, where and why; and
  • Dissecting the phrase “key populations” to understand where it works for—and against—a robust response.

The meeting is small relative to the number of advocates and activists needed to catalyze change on these and other issues. We’re working with partners to develop strategic campaigns to amplify a number of issues raised at the meeting—and you can delve into the presentations from the meeting here.

Even better, in the days and weeks to come, P-Values—AVAC’s blog—will include a series of vibrant first-hand reflections from participants about their work and thoughts from the meeting. We hope you’ll bookmark the blog, reach out directly to authors who pique your interest and above all join the growing, unstoppable movement calling for a prevention revolution that can decisively end AIDS.

The work you’re doing in your communities and countries today and every day is the heart and soul of this movement—and we hope you’ll use this network and introduce all of us to new ones as we stay the course in 2015 and beyond.

Partners’ Forum Blog Post Series