Hosted by long-time HIV activist and Housing Works president, Charles King, the 2015 Learning Institute on Advocacy discussed plans to end HIV by 2020. The full-day institute featured more in-depth presentations from conference presenters as well as fishbowl-format discussions on important goals and metrics, community mobilization, viral suppression and social drivers among key populations.
In an interview with OHTN staff, King said that his hope was that jurisdictions with commitments to end AIDS by a certain date could learn from each other through this institute, but also that people from jurisdictions who haven’t set this goal could observe, engage, and begin to consider whether similar projects would work for them.
He noted that the institute sparked debate among discussants about the use of surveillance data, but pointed out that that data helps link people to treatment sooner, improving their overall health. “I don’t even use the language of treatment as prevention,” he said, “because the number one reason I want you to go on treatment is for your own well-being, and it’s a side-effect that by doing that, you also ensure that you can’t transmit the virus to anyone else.”