Yesterday, the day before the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) officially opened; several important pre-conference meetings took place. These included the 9th International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV & AIDS. To learn more about this gathering, HIV.gov spoke with B. Kaye Hayes, MPA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Rick Haverkate, National HIV/HCV Consultant at the Indian Health Service. Another important meeting taking place on this day was the first in-person PEPFAR meeting in four years. To learn more about that meeting, we caught up with Ambassador John Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Health Diplomacy, who leads the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. View highlights of our conversations with them in today’s daily conference re-cap video:
The Importance of Culture in Engaging Indigenous Communities – Nothing for Us without Us
In our full conversation with Mr. Haverkate and Ms. Hayes, he explained that the Indigenous pre-conference, which he helped organize, brought together representatives from Indigenous communities in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. to discuss how these countries can learn from each other and strengthen their HIV responses to achieve the goal of ending the HIV epidemic for all populations. He also talked about the importance of recognizing and protecting culture in our collective efforts to address the HIV epidemic. Ms. Hayes, who is also Director of the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy and the Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, discussed the significance of engaging Indigenous communities in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the actions outlined in the Strategy that move us closer toward ending the HIV epidemic in the United States. She underscored how important it is to engage Indigenous communities in the planning and implementation of the response to HIV. Watch their full conversation here.
PEPFAR’s Meeting at AIDS 2022
In our full conversation with Ambassador Nkengasong and Director Phillips, they shared thoughts on the PEPFAR meeting and how the domestic and global responses to HIV inform and support each other. They also discussed announcements about rolling out new long-acting injectable HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as another option for people at risk of acquiring HIV. Finally, Ambassador Nkengasong remarked on the announcement that Botswana has become one of the very few countries to surpass the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 95-95-95 targets ahead of 2030, according to a new population-based survey. The survey found that 95.1% of people living with HIV in Botswana were aware of their status, nearly all (98%) of those aware of their status were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 97.9% of those on ART achieved viral suppression. This significant milestone suggests that Botswana is well-positioned to end its HIV epidemic by 2030 despite the fact that approximately one in five adults in Botswana are living with HIV. Watch our full conversation with them here.
Also at the Conference Today
We spoke briefly on Instagram with Mr. Phillips about how AIDS 2022 informs his work on the HIV response in the U.S. and a bit more with Mr. Haverkate and Ms. Hayes about lessons from the conference so far. In addition, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shared this announcement about research presented at the conference: New Insights into HIV Latent Cells Yield Potential Cure Targets.
AIDS 2022 and Coverage from HIV.gov
The AIDS 2022 conference is taking place in Montreal, Canada, and virtually from July 29 to August 2, 2022. The world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS, this biennial meeting brings 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 as a threat to public health and individual well-being. See the AIDS 2022 website for additional information about the conference.
HIV.gov will be sharing news from AIDS 2022 over the next week. Watch for video highlights each day and read about conference developments on our blog and on our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also catch up on all our video conversations from the conference on our YouTube channel.