National HIV PrEP Summit Update BY: PAUL KAWATA · NMAC · SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
When healthcare is also prevention, when undetectable = untransmittable, the differences between HRSA and CDC-supported programs can be confusing. With a new administration starting in January 2017, we need agreement about strategies and funding soon. Building roadmaps to end an epidemic calls for visionary leaders who are willing to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from colleagues. This is not a time to be cautious, it’s a time to fight. Shame on us if we don’t take advantage of the moment.
This is an update on the National HIV PrEP Summit (NHPS), Dec 3-4, 2016 in San Francisco. As we saw at USCA, there is an excitement about biomedical HIV prevention and our ability to build roadmaps to end the HIV epidemic. While we hope you will attend the Summit; NMAC wants to explain how NHPS will be different from USCA. The major differences include 1) Size, 2) Activists’ Summit, 3) Lots of Science & Policy, and 4) Single Issue Meeting.
USCA has thousands of participants, the Summit will be limited to 600. Initially, it was limited to 400, but the meeting quickly reached that number. Unfortunately, there were no additional meeting rooms; however, the hotel allowed us to slightly increase attendance. It's going to be very crowded, but it won’t have the same numbers and/or diversity as USCA.
The Summit is an activists’ forum, unlike USCA which is an inspirational gathering of our movement. This meeting is for the hardcore leaders committed to biomedical HIV prevention. Our goal is not to inspire you, but to make you think about the science and debate policies that will bring the promise of PrEP, TasP, and PEP to your community. The goal is to hear success stories from health departments, to review community-based education campaigns, and to build locally relevant road maps that can end the epidemic.
Lots of Science & Policy
If you liked Dr. Ho’s presentation at USCA, then you will love the Summit. Where USCA is about community, the Summit will be about implementation science and how to bring the promise of biomedical medical HIV prevention to all communities highly impacted by HIV.
In addition to science, this meeting will also focus on policy recommendations for the new administration. Since the Summit is after the election, it will be an ideal time to discuss strategy. This is particularly important since over 12,000 jobs change when a new President is elected.
To address the policy issues, NMAC will release a Blueprint for HIV Biomedical Prevention. The blueprint’s author is Sean Bland, a black gay lawyer, and researcher. As a graduate of Yale and Georgetown Law who spent two years at Fenway Health engaging in community-based participatory research with an emphasis on Black gay and bisexual men, he brings a unique perspective to the project. Jeffrey Crowley, former White House AIDS Czar and one of the primary authors of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy will edit the Blueprint. Part 1 will be released at the Summit; it documents the current state of biomedical HIV prevention. Part 2 will be developed based on conversations at the Summit. Part 2 is policy recommendations for the new White House AIDS Czar and the Secretary of HHS about Biomedical HIV Prevention.
* This report was funded by the sale of NMAC’s corporate headquarters. The agency wants to thank the building for 20 years of safe housing and a nest egg that lets NMAC self-fund important documents.*
Single Issue Meeting
USCA has lots of diversity. The meeting tries to have programming that speaks to the diversity of communities highly impacted by HIV. The Summit is a single issue meeting. Our goal is to discuss how to make the promise of biomedical HIV prevention a reality for all communities highly impacted by HIV.
It’s important to understand these differences so you have reasonable expectations about the Summit. We received over 600 scholarship applications for 175 scholarship slots. As a result, the Summit is limiting scholarships to a maximum of one per agency, with a special focus on the American south. The final announcement is slightly delayed; we intend to award scholarships in early October. We also have funding for 25 international participants from Europe and Africa. International scholars will be selected by European and African HIV treatment activists.
The Summit will only have 24 workshops. 75% capacity building and 25% policy development. Peer-to-peer learning will be the foundation for the majority of workshops. Sessions will focus on biomedical HIV prevention programs and implementation, funding, outcome/program evaluation and the policies needed to successfully implement biomedical prevention. The science on the effectiveness of PrEP will not be debated. What will be discussed are solutions to the implementation challenges of bringing the promise of biomedical HIV prevention to enough people to move America to zero new HIV infections.
We hope to include the voices of people on PrEP as a part of this meeting. The intention is to learn from the experiences of these early adaptors. There will be NO onsite registration, the conference will sell-out. These are tough times and organizations need to carefully monitor their training expenses. This meeting is very limited in size. Only organizations and individuals who are expanding their HIV prevention efforts to include biomedical HIV prevention should attend this meeting. The Summit seeks to bring together leaders to share information and build the field’s capacity as they also discuss, review and develop recommendations for the new administration. NMAC wants to thank presenting sponsor Gilead, along with Levi Strauss Foundation, and ViiV Healthcare for their support of the Summit. Without them, we could not host this meeting. I hope to see you in San Francisco.
The BLOC will train people of color living with HIV to be full, active, and engaged participants on planning bodies, medical and support care teams, boards of directors, and other efforts to address the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We value your stories and your expertise, and we want to support you in building on them. The project will run from September 2016 – August 2019 and will host the following training events each year: