Valuing the central role of community at AIDS 2018

On Wednesday the 25th of July at the international AIDS conference in Amsterdam, ARCSHS in conjunction with UNAIDS and GNP+ hosted a meeting titled: “How do we maintain and evidence the crucial role of community-based organisations (CBOs) in the global response to HIV?” You can now read this report summarizing the presentations and discussions.

As the HIV response adapts to the largest and most significant developments in HIV prevention in over 20 years, it is timely to investigate and articulate the diverse ways in which community organisations influence and impact the epidemic. While the emergence of PrEP and treatment as prevention (TasP) have undoubtedly helped to reduce incidence of HIV transmission in some populations, there is much to do in ensuring these technologies reach those who need them most and that no one is left behind. Peer and community-based organisations will be crucial to this effort given their capacity to engage with marginalised or hard-to-reach populations. Peer and community-based organisations will also continue to be the central force ensuring equity of healthcare and treatment access, while contributing to the broader sexual health and well-being of HIV affected people in a myriad of other ways through individual, community and policy-based initiatives.

However, the evidence base that clearly demonstrates this crucial role is limited, complicated by the significant challenges inherent to complex, community-embedded ways of working. In an increasingly biomedical era, the role of peer and community organisations and social and behavioural interventions has been called into question by funders, with reductions in funding already documented across the globe.

Read the full report here.

Find an expert

Search our experts database.