Our José Mejía, HIV Peer Support Manager, reflects on some of the takeaways for us all from today's conference:
- Communications and information sharing are faster, more intense and more dense. Appetite for information has dramatically increased, but we need to approach and reach people in the ways in which they engage - especially young people.
- Success of peer support - finding yourself and identifying with someone like you can be so powerful.
- Important to think about how we are reaching people outside of Fast-Track Cities, people who are not connected to mobile devices, people who are based in remote areas.
- Transparency is important in civil society engagement. People want to know what is happening, how money is being spent and about the latest scientific advancements and findings.
Quality of Life
- Importance of the '4th 90' - quality of life of people living with HIV.
- Fast-Track Cities report late diagnosis with people living with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Also linkage between being satisfied with quality of life and adherence to treatment.
- Concerns around ageing and impact on quality of life.
- Quality of life is more than a final 90, it is only achieved if considered and measured throughout the whole treatment cascade.
- Key that health services and services in general are welcoming to people living with HIV, men who have sex with men (MSM), trans people and sex workers. Operating alongside tailored and specific person-centred services for key communities.
- The importance of the U=U message and how countries like the UK and Vietnam are pioneering this work. Coupled with the importance of reinforcing that people on effective treatment not only can’t pass it on anymore, but haven’t been passing it on for a while, in reducing shame and self-stigma.
- The relevance of self-identification beyond MSM - listening properly to the people that we are working with and the terms they use to refer to themselves.
- To look beyond outreach boundaries to ensure services reach trans people. Remembering the importance of the language used, and the places we operate.
- The need for safe spaces for sex workers alongside decriminalisation.