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No Prevention, No End – AVAC launches new report and call to action

Today AVAC released No Prevention, No End, our 2018 annual report on the state of the field. Starting from the title—which humbly borrows the cadence of the call for an end to state-sanctioned violence against Black Americans, “No Justice, No Peace”—through to the closing words, “This is the worst possible moment for slowing down,” the Report is a call to action and guide for addressing the HIV prevention crisis that threatens progress in curtailing epidemics worldwide.

Click here to download the Report and individual sections and graphics; click here for a new episode of the Px Pulse podcast which covers the Report’s key themes and features lead author Emily Bass, AVAC’s Director of Strategy and Content.

UNAIDS named the prevention crisis in its July 2018 report, Miles to Go. It acknowledged that the scale-up of antiretroviral treatment, while essential, is insufficient as a prevention strategy. AVAC has been warning of an imbalance in approaches and investments across approaches, and calling for ambitious targets matched with political will, financing, timelines and more since the UNAIDS targets were first launched in 2014. (Check out AVAC Report 2014/5: Prevention on the Line for a summary of this critique of targets.)

In this year’s Report, we call out three core problems with primary prevention and the global HIV response, identifying the risks they bring and the path to a solution. Specifically, we focus on:

  • Investing in demand creation: The private-sector gloss on this term cannot obscure its essential role in making primary prevention work. Strategies that might save lives are condemned as unwanted or unfeasible when they’re delivered in programs that lack integrated demand-side thinking, which is a science and not a set of slogans.
  • Making informed choice central to HIV prevention: Programs that offer more than one option, along with a supportive environment for a provider and client to discuss risks, benefits and personal preferences aren’t a luxury but a necessity. The family planning field has metrics to measure choice; HIV should pick these up, with prevention programs leading the way.
  • Unstinting radical action: Progress in the global AIDS response is tenuous; so is the state of democratic institutions and the future of the planet. These interconnected issues require more bold action, including from countries that are aid beneficiaries, and from the citizens of those countries who unite to hold truth to power. In the HIV prevention context, this means accountability for primary prevention at every level, including research for next-generation options.

AVAC is launching this Report as many stakeholders in HIV prevention research gather in Madrid for the HIV Research for Prevention (R4P) conference. Visit our special R4P page to find us on-site and follow along from afar, to see how the themes of this year’s Report resonate in a global and wide-ranging discussion of HIV prevention research and implementation at a critical time.