The Fast Track Cities conference was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from September 25th to 27th, 2023. Originating in December 2014, the Fast-Track Cities partnership has grown to include more than 500 cities and municipalities committed to expediting their local responses to HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and viral hepatitis. Their aim is to attain the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 by 2030.
Over half of the world’s population resides in urban centres, where most individuals affected by HIV, TB, and related ailments reside. The risk of infection and susceptibility to HIV and TB often escalates in urban environments due to factors such as social connectivity, migration, unemployment, and pervasive social and economic disparities.
The conference featured an array of poster and oral presentations. A standout among these was a presentation highlighting the notable progress achieved in meeting HIV targets in Kyiv, amidst the Ukrainian conflict. Emergency funds and support from the Fast-Track Cities initiative facilitated the implementation of crucial interventions to assist those in dire circumstances, particularly among key and vulnerable populations like individuals who inject drugs and members of the LGBTQI+ community. Both testing rates and the number of individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy remained stable, showcasing the initiative’s positive impact.
TB HIV Care’s M&E Director Anje Pretorius presented a poster on Implementing Integrated Innovative Economic Strengthening Initiatives for AGYW in an HIV Prevention Programme in eThekwini, South Africa, while Mayor Kaunda received an Excellence Award for outstanding work in HIV response in eThekwini together with the cities of Berlin, Maputo, Phoenix in the US and Melbourne at the FTC Excellence Awards ceremony.
Abstracts and presentations can be found at Fast-Track Cities 2023 – International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (iapac.org)