In an official letter today from UNAIDS Interim Executive Director Gunilla Carson, the multilateral international organization expressed their support for the upcoming HIV2020 conference in Mexico City.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Their support echos the HIV2020 Alliance’s commitment to fostering a community-led response that necessarily includes amplifying the voices of vulnerable and marginalized key populations that are disproportionately affected by HIV & AIDS.
The full text of the letter is available below:
Dear Organizers of HIV2020,
Communities and key populations are the backbone of the AIDS response and their meaningful engagement has always been a core and guiding principle for UNAIDS.
UNAIDS therefore supports the upcoming HIV2020 conference, set to take place 5 to 7 July 2020. The HIV2020 conference will provide a platform to amplify the voices and support the organizing of people affected by HIV: people living with HIV, LGBTI people, sex workers, people who use drugs, and people with history of incarceration. UNAIDS shares the main goal of the HIV2020 organizing committee to ensure a safe space for communities as defined by communities, to draw global attention to the vital role communities play in the global HIV response, by instigating conversations with and among people living with and affected by HIV in all their diversity.
UNAIDS recognizes the importance of HIV2020 and the reasons for it being organized. UNAIDS supports efforts to mobilize the resources needed to organize and hold this conference. We hope our engagement will enhance the virtual connections and synergies between HIV2020 and AIDS2020, where UNAIDS is a permanent partner of the organizing committee. UNAIDS will work with the organizers of HIV2020 to make every effort to ensure that people living with and most affected by HIV are equal partners in global deliberations about HIV research and their real-world implications and the overall future of the AIDS response.
An alliance of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and our supporters, has formed to organize an alternative international community-led event. Titled HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response, the event is scheduled to take place in Mexico City, July 5-7, 2020, and will run concurrently with the first half of the international AIDS conference.
The HIV2020 alliance has decided to organize the community-led event to provide a safe alternative for individuals who cannot or will not enter the U.S. in 2020 or who cannot afford to attend AIDS2020. It will also offer new opportunities to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response.