Tell Congress to Reject Cuts and #SaveHIVFunding

Join us in telling Congress to reject cuts and #SaveHIVFunding by sending letters to your Congressional representatives.

Decolonizing Global Health in 2024 and Beyond

In the year ahead, staking out a course that will advance the HIV response and global health equity faces serious headwinds.

Avac Event

CROI 2024

The 31st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) will be held from March 3-6, 2024 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.

The best and most consequential original research on HIV and related conditions will define the science at the conference. CROI 2024 will also accept important new findings on SARS-CoV-2 and the mpox virus. The in-person conference will also feature interactive sessions, poster sessions and networking opportunities.

Register for the Community Breakfast Clubs, virtual webinars hosted by the CROI Community Liaisons, the European AIDS Treatment Group, AVAC, and their global collaborators. Full details here.

Watch this space or subscribe to our Advocates’ Network newsletter for the latest from CROI 2024 including our forthcoming roadmap to help you navigate the conference — from Denver or afar.

What You Should Know About the FAPP, GAPP and PEPFAR Reauthorization

By Kenyon Farrow

Engaging the US government is vital to advocacy for HIV prevention, as one of the world’s largest contributors to implementation and research and development. The reach and scale of US funded global health programs have profound impact on the lives and health of people in the US and around the world. Two coalitions, founded by advocates, make it their central mission to inform and influence the US federal government to advance funding and policies to end the HIV epidemic.  

In 2024, their work will be as important as at any time in the history of HIV advocacy; as funding for US programs is at stake and advocacy continues for the reauthorization of PEPFAR, one of the greatest US foreign policy and global development achievements in history.

AVAC’s John Meade was just elected co-chair of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP), a national coalition of more than 120+ local, regional, and national organizations advocating for federal funding, legislation and policy to end the HIV epidemic in the United States. John and co-chairs, Mike Weir of NASTAD and Kathie Hiers of AIDS Alabama,  will support the work of seven affiliated working groups, including the AIDS Budget and Appropriation Coalition and the Research Working Group, to produce analysis, build relationships with federal entities, and champion policies and funding that are essential to making progress.  

And AVAC’s Suraj Madoori co-chairs the Global AIDS Policy Partnership(GAPP), a 70 member coalition that leads advocacy for continued robust funding, expansion and improvement of US global HIV/AIDS programming through PEPFAR and the Global Fund. With co-chairs Katie Lapides Coester of EGPAF and Shannon Kellman, formerly of Friends of the Global Fight, now at UNAIDS, this coalition — comprised of civil society and faith-based organizations, funders, professional membership organizations and organizations that implement programs — will continue working every channel to spotlight success, combat misinformation and seize opportunities to secure a new five-year reauthorization of PEPFAR. See AVAC’s blog here.  

Since its creation in 2003 and through previous 5-year reauthorizations, PEPFAR has received near universal, bipartisan support in Congress. This past year, partisan lobbyists and their congressional allies derailed easy passage of its next 5-year reauthorization. In 2024, the GAPP will be mobilizing against efforts to politicize this singularly successful program, and will be working for renewed bipartisan support through the final resolution of federal budget negotiations.  

The efforts of the GAPP and the FAPP will remain essential to ensure sustained funding for efforts to end the epidemic, to save overall HIV funding and advance a national PrEP program in the US, and to win the reauthorization of PEPFAR. Be sure to watch this space for updates. 

Webinars to Look Out for in February!

2024 is off and running and a slew of webinars are on the calendar. This selection of topics is both broad and deep, providing updates on the pipeline from cure to vaccines, insights on critical advocacy, a conversation with the new director of NIAID, and opportunities for you to engage. Scroll down for what’s coming up and recordings of webinars from December and January that you may have missed.  

Coming up!

AVAC in Conversation with NIAID’s Jeanne Marrazzo

February 27, 11:30 am – 12:00 pm EST 

Join AVAC in conversation with the new Director of NIAID, Jeanne Marrazzo. Register here.

The New Public Health Order: How is Africa preparing for pandemics?

February 29, 9:00-10:30 am EST 

WACI Health and The Choice Agenda invite you to join us for a webinar introducing key initiatives of the Africa CDC and the African Union. It will illuminate roles for civil society and community engagement. Register here.

The Adolescent Medicine Trials Network (ATN): Research addressing HIV health inequities among US adolescents and young adults

Join The Choice Agenda for an overview of the newest cycle of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network! This webinar includes highlights of: ATN 165: Linking Youth to PrEP Services, which tests an innovative mobile delivery and mHealth intervention for PrEP adherence and persistence among sexual minority men; ATN 167: Legal, Economic, and Affirming Peer Support (LEAP) for transgender and gender diverse youth; and how the network prioritizes and amplifies the voices of youth directly impacted by the ATN’s pivotal research. Register here.

Advocacy Navigator Program Info Session

February 13, 10:00-11:00 am EST

This webinar is intended for anyone interested in applying to participate in AVAC’s Advocacy Navigator program. The session will provide an overview of the program, expectations, eligibility, and application process, followed by Q&A with the AVAC team. 

In case you missed it!

Reporting the African Science Story: Decoding scientific research to support public health in Africa

Through the Media Science Café Program, AVAC partners with health media associations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to bring journalists together with researchers, implementers, civil society, policy makers, regulators and policy makers to build relationships that will foster accurate reporting of HIV, COVID and other science or health stories in those countries. Learn about the model! Recording, slides and resources.

PrEPVacc: An in-depth look at the trial, and what’s next

This webinar reviewed key aspects of PrEPVacc, including its innovative study design, implementation, integrated social science, and data analysis plans. An engaging conversation about what we’ve learned from PrEPVacc, what we can still learn, and what this may mean for the HIV prevention field. Recording, slides and resources.

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Webinar Series

Check out our 4-part webinar series on cervical cancer, which featured a deep dive on: what cervical cancer is, who is impacted, and prevention and treatment options; advocacy strategies to bring more attention to cervical cancer and its impact on communities; options for screening and treating cervical cancer along with ongoing research; and the impact of cervical cancer on key populations and those vulnerable to HIV infections. Recording, slides and resources.

HIV Cure and the Environment: How location informs cure research

This webinar reviewed core concepts discussed in the previous webinar, Let’s Talk About HIV Cure Research: An Introduction to the science under investigation, and introduced how the environment may impact cure strategies. Recording, slides and resources.

Learn more about the townhall discussion on Black Gay Men and HIV in the US featuring influential figures in the Black Gay community, including Ace Robinson, Daniel D. Driffin, and Kenyon Farrow by checking out highlights on AVAC’s Twitter page and watch the full recording

Thanks for checking out these conversations. We hope you will join us in these rich discussions and watch this space for future webinars!  

Avac Event

The New Public Health Order: Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Africa

Click here to determine the time in your region.

WACI Health, RANA and The Choice Agenda invite you to join us on Thursday, February 29 for “The New Public Health Order: Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Africa”

This webinar will introduce key initiatives for the coming year from Africa CDC and the African Union and illuminate roles for civil society and community engagement. We will hear from both Africa CDC representatives and key advocates on the development of these initiatives and what goals they intend to achieve.

Speakers: 

  • Jens Pedersen – Senior Advisor for Africa CDC 
  • Noah Elias Tegene – Principal Health Policy and Diplomacy Officer for Africa CDC 
  • Dr. Fifa Rahman – Pandemic Negotiations Consultant for Africa CDC

Moderator:

  • Samantha Rick – AVAC

Now accepting applications for the 2024 Advocacy Navigator program

Advocacy Navigator program accepting applications

Dear Advocate,  

Following a successful 2023 program, AVAC is delighted to launch the 2024 Advocacy Navigator program and invites applications from emerging advocates from Eastern and Southern Africa interested in strengthening their skills in HIV prevention advocacy. Applications for the Advocacy Navigator program are now being accepted through 8 March 2024. 

Find details about the Advocacy Navigator program and application process here. And join us for an informational webinar on Tuesday, 13 February

The Advocacy Navigator combines training and mentorship for young and emerging advocates in the field of HIV prevention advocacy. The program brings together a small group of individuals for online knowledge- and skills-sharing sessions and pairs them with a mentor from AVAC’s alumni Fellows’ network to apply their learning to a community advocacy project. The program begins with three months of coursework and project development, followed by three months of implementation, when advocates work on their plans. 

Twelve advocates from nine countries across Africa completed the Advocacy Navigator program in 2023. Their community projects ranged from advocacy for the introduction of and access to new prevention methods including the dapivirine vaginal ring and injectable PrEP, to the need for more available data for key populations, to a call for expanding choice in HIV prevention. Read testimonials from their experience here

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, it’s about recognizing the diversity of needs and implementing interventions that truly make a difference. It’s been eye-opening to witness how empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills to advocate for their rights and educate their peers can be a catalyst for change. This project has instilled in me the belief that advocacy is not just about speaking up; it’s about equipping those affected by an issue with the tools they need to be the agents of change themselves.”  

– Doreen Moraa Moracha, Advocacy Navigator 2023 (Kenya) 

Since launching the AVAC Fellows program in 2009, AVAC has recognized the imperative to invest in mobilizing a growing cadre of HIV prevention advocates. The Advocacy Navigator program is leveraging the strength of this extraordinary alumni community to sustainably expand this model through a short online learning and mentorship program to a larger number of people. 

Find the application and additional information at AVAC.org/navigator

Mentor Application Form

Download the application here or click the link on the right of this page.

The Advocacy Navigator is an AVAC initiative combining training and mentorship to young and emerging advocates in the field of HIV prevention advocacy. Mentors will serve as advisors to the Navigators, supporting them as they go through their coursework and while they design and implement their Community Advocacy Project. More information at www.avac.org/navigator.

Advocacy Navigator Call For Applications

Download the application here or click the link to the right of this page.

The Advocacy Navigator program is open to any individual interested in HIV prevention advocacy currently residing in Southern or Eastern Africa. This is a six month program with a three to four hour weekly time commitment. AVAC will provide online coursework in HIV prevention and advocacy and match participants with a mentor. Participants will receive a small project grant. More information at www.avac.org/navigator.

Advocacy Navigator Call for Mentor Applications

The Advocacy Navigator program is open to any AVAC Alumni interested in serving as a mentor to emerging HIV prevention advocates currently residing in Southern or Eastern Africa. This is a six month program in HIV prevention advocacy. The mentor time commitment should be approximately one to two hours per week with the Navigator (program participant. A modest communication and mentorship stipend is available. More information at www.avac.org/navigator.