As Civil Society partners of AIDS 2020, Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and International Indigenous HIV & AIDS Community (IIHAC) support the decision of the IAS, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to host the 23rd International AIDS Conference virtually.
AIDS 2020: Virtual will enable conference attendance for those who have already registered, as well as providing access to those who might not have been able to attend otherwise, due to financial, travel or other restrictions.
This initiative safeguards the health of our communities, particularly as there is not yet sufficient research on the impact of COVID-19 for people living with HIV, reducing any potential risk to our communities. Furthermore, it ensures that our communities working on the front-line are able to continue to focus their efforts on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic at this critical time.
This year’s theme for the conference, Resilience, is more pertinent than ever in light of the global pandemic. Examples of community-led responses to HIV are being drawn upon to inform the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapidly changing global health landscape calls upon us all, as a community, to redouble our commitment to the global HIV response, and to ensure that now, more than ever, no-one is left behind in the fight against HIV.
We are excited by this opportunity to engage with our communities globally through the use of innovative virtual tools, and to enable increased inclusion of the most marginalized communities within the global HIV response. We collectively support the virtual creation of AIDS 2020 ensuring that our communities are able and ready to engage in diverse virtual activities upholding the GIPA policy and enabling access and meaningful engagement of our communities. The IAS will be sharing more information about the virtual programme over the coming weeks on the AIDS 2020 website.