During the second day of the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022), among the many things HIV.gov heard about was the importance of community engagement in ending the HIV epidemic. We also heard about a new public awareness campaign focused on people with HIV who are not in care and its powerful messages, including undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U). And we got to visit the conference’s vibrant Global Village. View the highlights video from the second day below, followed by our full conversations with PEPFAR’s Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, NIH’s Maureen M. Goodenow PhD, HHS's Kaye Hayes, and the Human Rights Campaign’s Tori Cooper.
More on PEPFAR Progress and Lessons to be Shared
In our full conversation with Ambassador Dr. John Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Health Diplomacy, who leads the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Maureen M. Goodenow, PhD, Associate Director for AIDS Research and Director, Office of AIDS Research, National Institutes of Health, they both highlighted the importance of bidirectional sharing to inform programs. Dr. Goodenow remarked that during a full-day PEPFAR meeting ahead of the conference opening, she heard a number of interesting examples from other countries that could inform and support U.S. HIV efforts, such as youth-led peer groups in Uganda and integrated aging services for people with HIV in Botswana. She also noted how feedback from PEPFAR helps inform NIH’s HIV research agenda. Ambassador Nkengasong echoed the praise for Botswana, noting that they had just announced at the conference that they had become one of the very few countries to surpass the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 95-95-95 targets. Ambassador Nkengasong also discussed his reaction to new UNAIDS data released at the conference, showing that globally the number of new HIV infections dropped only 3.6% between 2020 and 2021, which was the smallest annual decline in new HIV infections since 2016. Hear all this and more in our full video conversation with them.
“I am a Work of ART” and U=U
In our full conversation about the campaigns B. Kaye Hayes, MPA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease and Director, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, HHS, discussed the new “I am a Work of ART” campaign launched by her office in June. She explained how her team worked closely with members of the community throughout the design and development of the new campaign that focuses on the health and prevention benefits of HIV treatment. The campaign is designed to motivate individuals with HIV who are not in care to re-engage in antiretroviral treatment (ART) so they can live long and healthy lives and avoid passing HIV to their partners. Ms. Hayes shared that the campaign has received positive feedback from community members so far. Tori Cooper, Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at the Human Rights Campaign, and also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), underscored the power of the undetectable equals untransmittable or U=U campaign that Ms. Hayes and other federal officials affirmed during the conference. View our full conversation with them.
Also at the Conference
We spoke briefly with Ms. Hayes and Ms. Cooper on Instagram about the powerful messages for people with HIV in both the “I am a Work of ART” and U=U campaigns.
HIV.gov at AIDS 2022
AIDS 2022 is taking place in Montreal, Canada, and virtually from July 29 to August 2, 2022. It’s the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS, bringing together thousands of researchers, policymakers, program implementers, advocates, and others to present and discuss the latest HIV research, move research into action, share innovative programs and practices, and strengthen local, national, and global efforts to end the HIV epidemic. Continue following HIV.gov for daily conference highlights on our blog and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also catch up on all our video conversations from the conference on our YouTube channel.