World AIDS Day: Equalize

From cure research to community-based responses, amfAR advocates for HIV equity.

December 1 is a time to honor those we have lost to AIDS and redouble our efforts to end AIDS.

As our global community addresses the needs of approximately 38.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS, we need to strive for equity. “Equalize” is this year’s World AIDS Day theme and organizations and communities everywhere are boosting the signal. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is “calling on global leaders and citizens to boldly recognize and address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS; and equalize access to essential HIV services particularly for children and key populations and their partners—men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who use drugs, sex workers, and prisoners.”

At amfAR, we aim for equity every day.

With robust, data-driven advocacy, our Public Policy Office strives to dismantle healthcare barriers that disproportionately affect key populations, end stigma and discrimination, and promote compassion for all.

Whether it’s equal access to medications for children living with HIV in Vietnam or improving care linkages for adults living with HIV and hepatitis C in India, amfAR’s TREAT Asia program and its network of partner sites work to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS across the Asia-Pacific region.

Our innovative cure research agenda also seeks to “equalize,” funding studies across multiple strategies and in different populations so that any cure for HIV is as widely applicable as possible.

As we work toward making AIDS history for everyone, amfAR offers four ways to support the cause on World AIDS Day.

Priorities and the Path to Progress

Taking stock of where we are now in the pandemic and charting a path forward, amfAR will bring together our experts for a panel discussion premiering on YouTube on December 1. Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR CEO; Dr. Rowena Johnston, VP and Director of Research; Dr. Annette Sohn, VP and Director of TREAT Asia; and Greg Millett, VP and Director of Public Policy, will share insights about amfAR’s plans and priorities for the year ahead.

amfAR: Priorities and the Path to Progress

Yes I Am–The Ric Weiland Story

Microsoft pioneer Ric Weiland combined activism and philanthropy to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, protect the environment, and address the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. His generous support of amfAR through a trust he set up to benefit numerous charities continues to save lives. In celebration of his legacy, the documentary Yes I Am–The Ric Weiland Story will screen at the Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles on December 1, with director Aaron Bear leading a pre-show Q&A. Fifty percent of the proceeds will benefit amfAR.

For ticket information, click here.

Sisters Foundation graphic created to promote trans inclusion in Thailand’s NSPs
Sisters Foundation graphic created to promote trans inclusion in Thailand’s NSPs

Increasing Trans Inclusion in HIV/AIDS National Strategic Planning

On December 1, amfAR and Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE) will release their report, Increasing Trans Inclusion in HIV/AIDS National Strategic Planning: Learnings from Community Advocacy in Five Countries. Trans people are among the most at-risk groups for HIV, but they are frequently excluded from policy and planning documents like National Strategic Plans for HIV/AIDS (NSPs). This project aimed to increase trans inclusion in NSPs by building the capacity of five trans-led community organizations to engage in NSP-focused advocacy and shape trans-specific programming.

Community-Led Monitoring and the Global Fund

Partnering with International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), amfAR’s TREAT Asia program has created a vital resource detailing how and why to include community-led monitoring in country-level Global Fund grant applications. Launching on World AIDS Day, the brief provides a beginner’s guide for key population organizations and civil society groups to collect data about HIV services, identify what is and isn’t working, and dialogue with policy makers about how to implement changes and improve care.

Cycle of community-led monitoring
Cycle of community-led monitoring