This week, HRC joined over 18,000 HIV and AIDS activists, advocates and researchers in Durban, South Africa to kick off the 21st International AIDS Conference. Also known as AIDS 2016, the International AIDS Conference brings people together to share knowledge, promote activism and advance a clear agenda for HIV in a post 2015-framework.
The theme of this year’s conference is Access Equity Rights Now, which conference organizers says is a call to action to:
- Work together and reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services;
- Strengthen the commitment to HIV research evidence-based interventions;
- Unite all HIV stakeholders and overcome injustices caused by violence and the exclusion of people on the basis of multiple identities;
- Repeal laws that infringe on people’s human rights and deny communities the ability to participate in the world as equals.
With an impressive number of pre-conferences, keynotes, workshops and research presentations, the conference is making a clear commitment to issues affecting key populations disproportionately impacted by HIV, including LGBTQ people.
For example, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), the once-daily pill regimen that has been shown to be highly effective in keeping someone HIV-negative, was found to hold tremendous promise for young, Black gay and bisexual men when it is part of individualized counseling that addresses other barriers in their lives. Additionally, multiple sessions underscored the need for governments worldwide to do more to advance HIV prevention, treatment, and care efforts among transgender women, including those engaging in commercial sex work.
In global news, a report released by UNAIDS last Sunday showed that we are making tremendous progress toward the 90-90-90 target (90 percent of people living with HIV diagnosed, 90 percent of people diagnosed taking HIV treatment, 90 percent of those on treatment achieving viral suppression), but disparities exist and additional funding will be needed if we are to achieve an end to the epidemic by 2030.
HRC is committed to working with our allies, partners, members, and supporters to end the HIV epidemic and to combat the stigma surrounding HIV. For more information about our work, click here. To join the conversation about the 21st International AIDS Conference, follow the hashtag #AIDS2016.