The International AIDS Society this week announced the theme of the 25th International AIDS Conference, and The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) is ecstatic!
The theme “Put People First!,” deeply connects with our core values and mission, and passionately believe that it holds immense respect for the role of people living with HIV, Key and Vulnerable Populations in advancing the global response.
“Put people first is not just a slogan; it is a fundamental principle that should guide every aspect of the conference and be part of our daily work all over the world,” says Florence Riako Anam, GNP+ Co-Executive Director.
As representatives of people living with HIV, we are looking forward to witnessing this theme translate into concrete actions and outcomes that will significantly benefit our community in meaningful ways. One pivotal aspect of putting people first is ensuring comprehensive representation. We ask for an intersectional gender representation of our communities at the conference, including in speaking slots and oral presentation. Putting us first means giving space to our powerful voices.
Scholarships and accessibility are also of paramount importance in removing barriers for the most marginalised and underprivileged members of our community and enabling their participation.
We appreciate the acknowledgement of the need for ease in visa application and approval. Travel restrictions and visa issues have, in many instances, hindered the participation of community members from countries heavily affected by HIV. We hope to see concrete measures taken to simplify and expedite the visa process, ensuring that attendees can reach the conference without unnecessary obstacles.
GNP+, looks forward to working with you to demonstrate our community leadership in actualising the theme of “Put People First!”, and elevate the standard for inclusivity, representation, and active engagement of people living with and affected by HIV in the AIDS response.