AIDS Free Pittsburgh Organizes Fast-Track Cities Implementation Workshop
Community, civic, and public health stakeholders gathered in-person and virtually to discuss the current state of HIV in Pittsburgh and generate a dialogue for Pittsburgh's next steps in addressing barriers, gaps, and health inequities. The event on July 21 was held to begin to create strategic objectives and action steps for implementing and realizing HIV care continuum optimization to reach the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals in Pittsburgh by 2030.
Pittsburgh is the only city in Pennsylvania to join a global network committed to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. Through the Fast-Track City (FTC) initiative, the City of Pittsburgh has pledged to work towards zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero stigma against people living with HIV. This renewed local commitment to support people living with HIV and other key populations impacted by the epidemic comes just over 40 years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported on what would become known as HIV in June of 1981.
The implementation workshop was held in collaboration with the FTC Institute, AIDS Free Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh HIV Commission, and the Mayor's Office of Community Health and Safety.
Topics discussed included an overview of the international Fast-Track City initiative and the role of data dashboards in accountability towards jurisdictional HIV goals; local HIV coordinating groups discussed their work to date and roles of stakeholders in aligning to the FTC model; and group discussions about maintaining momentum and participation while also addressing inequities.
Participants expressed interest in: developing dedicated capacity for HIV advocacy at the city-level, state-level, and beyond; addressing increased HIV cases because of COVID-19; addressing related emerging infectious disease challenges like monkeypox; examining the intersection between access to HIV prevention and care and abortion and contraception access.
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) is currently working to develop an HIV data dashboard for Allegheny County in collaboration with the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Additionally, Pittsburgh will be represented at the IAPAC Fast Track Conference in Sevilla, Spain in October.