COVID-19 Response Takes Center Stage at
Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 Conference
Although IAPAC was not able to host the second annual Fast-Track Cities conference in Lisbon as planned this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference took place September 9-10, 2020. The conference opened with a high-level panel of Mayors from COVID-19 "hot-spot" Fast-Track Cities.

In a moderated discussion with the Mayors of Atlanta (Keisha Lance Bottoms), eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (Mxolisi Kaunda), Johannesburg (Geoffrey Makhubo), and Quezon City (Josefina Belmonte), Lisbon Mayor Fernando Medina delved into issues related to their respective city and municipal COVID-19 responses and how these Fast-Track Cities are adapting to ensure continuity of care for people living with HIV.
The Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, reviewed the state-of-the science about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and ongoing research into potential treatments and vaccines during a Keynote Address that was viewed by more than 1,500 registered delegates from 81 countries. 

The second day of the conference featured illustrative case studies from public health experts and community representatives from Atlanta, Bangkok, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kigali, Kyiv, Lisbon, London, Lusaka, Maputo City, Mexico City, Milan, Melbourne, Montréal, New York City, Paris, and Yaoundé. The case studies covered COVID-19 trend data; documented COVID-19-related disruptions in access to and utilization of HIV, TB, HCV, and related services; reviewed policy and/or program innovations that supported continuity of HIV, TB, HCV, and related services; and examined lessons learned from COVID-19 in relation to emerging pandemic preparedness and responses.

Read IAPAC's blog for a case studies synopsis and additional coverage from the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference, which was hosted by IAPAC, UNAIDS, and the Fast-Track Cities Institute, and sponsored by Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.

Presenter slide sets are being uploaded at www.IAPAC.org, and session videos will be posted on IAPAC's YouTube channel. Stay tuned for a follow-up announcement regarding the availability of slide sets and session videos by mid-October 2020.
Cardiff Joins Fast-Track Cities via Virtual Signing Ceremony

IAPAC's Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Bertrand Audoin, welcomed Cardiff to the Fast-Track Cities network on September 16, 2020. City and health officials, clinicians, service providers, and community representatives joined the virtual signing ceremony as the Welsh capital city became the seventh Fast-Track City in the United Kingdom.
UNITE and IAPAC Call for Greater Harmonization
between Global and Urban Health Agendas
IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga delivered a Keynote Address at the UNITE Global Summit on September 8, 2020. His remarks focused on bridging the gap between urban and global responses to emergent public health threats by facilitating "city multilateralism," a theme he would expand upon the next day in his opening remarks for the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference. UNITE Founder and President Dr. Ricardo Baptista Leite also spoke about the importance of local and national-level pandemic preparedness during the closing panel at the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference.
Adherence 2020 Conference Transitions to
Virtual Format Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to COVID-19, the previously scheduled in-person Adherence 2020 conference has transitioned into the Adherence 2020 Virtual conference, which will consist of two days of live-streamed plenary sessions and will be supplemented by pre-recorded panel discussions and oral/e-poster abstract sessions. The virtual conference will be held November 2-3, 2020.

The Adherence 2020 Virtual conference will focus on state-of-the-science evidence, best practices, and the practical, real-world implementation of behavioral, clinical, structural, and other interventions to maximize the therapeutic and preventative effects of antiretroviral drugs. The conference will also provide a forum for discussion and presentation of implementation science focused on closing evidence-to-practice gaps across the HIV prevention and care continua, as well as community engagement in planning, implementing, and monitoring HIV responses in their communities.

Hosted by IAPAC, the Adherence 2020 Virtual conference is accredited for continuing education credits by the University of Miami, and supported by Gilead Sciences, Janssen Therapeutics, Merck & Co., and ViiV Healthcare.
Continuity of HIV Care in the Presence of COVID-19
"The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of HIV responses in both the global North and the global South, at various stages across the continuum of HIV prevention and care and by varying degrees of severity. Yet, while we cannot yet measure the precise impact of HIV service disruptions on numbers of new infections or deleterious health outcomes, including viral rebound and mortality, the COVID-19 pandemic is sure to have had an impact as statistics replace anecdotes. Without question, public health officials will face greater obstacles to achieving the United Nations goal of ending the public health threat posed by AIDS by 2030, as a result of SARS-CoV-2."

Selection from IAPAC President/CEO Dr. José M. Zuniga's commentary in the latest edition of AIDS Reviews entitled, "Continuity of HIV Care in the Presence of COVID-19."
Harnessing Data on Laws and Policies to Fight HIV:
Discussion and Launch of an HIV Policy Lab

The science of HIV has never been more favorable in the era of potent antiretroviral agents. Yet while some communities have seen rapid declines in AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections, that progress is uneven on a geographic basis.

Laws and policies can either assist communities to benefit from HIV science or create roadblocks to accessing and utilizing life-saving interventions. On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University will host a discussion about science, policy, and human rights at the launch of their HIV Policy Lab. IAPAC is a partner of the HIV Policy Lab.

Registration is open for the livestreamed launch, which is scheduled to take place 9:00-10:30 am EDT, Tuesday, September, 29, 2020.
IAPAC Welcomes New Staff

IAPAC welcomes Corey Prachniak-Rincón, JD, MPH, as our new Senior Advisor on Public Health Strategy. They have advanced health, human rights, and LGBT research and programming, including at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth.

JIAPAC Editor Emeritus Pick
Patient-Provider Communication and Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills in HIV-Positive Adults Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in Haiti

This article in the latest edition of the Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC) explores how patient-provider communication and information, motivation, and behavioral (IMB) skills can reduce suboptimal ART adherence from the perspective of people living with HIV in Haiti.