HIV2020: Learning from people on the frontline of the HIV response

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Communities and groups most affected by HIV are vital to shaping the next phase of the epidemic response.

Frontline AIDS stands in solidarity with our partners and people on the frontline of the HIV epidemic and supports the efforts of the organisers of HIV2020 to open up a space for all voices to be heard.

HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response is due to take place in Mexico City on 5-7 July 2020. It will provide a needed platform for people unable to travel to San Francisco and Oakland on 6-10 July for the AIDS2020 conference to contribute to international dialogue on all aspects of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

In the US, since the last presidential election, minority and marginalised communities have experienced increasingly discriminatory political rhetoric, hate speech, violence, and a rolling back of freedoms and rights. This is especially true for people of colour, migrants, and people of Muslim, African, Caribbean, and Latin American descent and heritage, as well as for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, people living with HIV and AIDS, people who use drugs and sex workers.

Travel restrictions targeting people from specific countries and those from groups disproportionately affected by HIV, as well as an increasingly hostile environment for many who would be able to travel, have led to the formation of the HIV2020 Alliance. The Alliance is made up of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV and treatment activists and allies. The HIV2020 Alliance is responsible for organising HIV2020, which will be a community-led event focusing on issues of equity, parity and inclusion.

Recent figures from UNAIDS show that new HIV infections remain stubbornly high at 1.7 million in 2018, and that more than half of these are now among marginalised people, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, transgender people and sex workers. Today, more than ever, marginalised communities must be at the heart of the HIV response. Frontline AIDS supports inclusive and community led events and spaces that prioritise the voices of people most disproportionally impacted by HIV and AIDS.

We also believe in partnerships and in the critical importance of sharing information, experience, knowledge and ideas. It is important that the two conferences are linked so that lessons, knowledge and experiences of community members and representatives are heard and acted on.

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