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A Message about World AIDS Day from the UW/Fred Hutch CFAR Directors

A message from Dr. Connie Celum (Director), Dr. Kenneth Mugwanya (Interim Co-Director), and Susan Mello (Associate Director):

December 1 is World AIDS Day, which provides an important opportunity to pause and reflect on our progress, challenges and priorities in addressing the HIV pandemic. This year’s theme is “Let Communities Lead”, which aligns with one of the priority areas of our CFAR. If you zoom out and take a look at the big picture of the past 40+ years, communities have led the HIV response, as was very evident in the 1980s with early community-led behavioral changes when AIDS was a death sentence. Community leadership was instrumental in getting HIV treatment to Africa in the 1990s.

In the past 2 decades we have made great strides in identifying more potent, well-tolerated and simpler HIV treatments and highly effective pre-exposure prevention and have also realized the medications are not sufficient; delivery of HIV treatment and prevention needs to be simpler, integrated with other services, and include peer navigators and low barrier access models. On World AIDS Day, we will recommit our CFAR to engaging, listening, and partnering with communities to address ongoing challenges and priorities for HIV control.

This World AIDS Day is more than a celebration of the achievements of communities; it is a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles. To learn more about this year’s theme, “Let Communities Lead“, click here.

Dr. Connie Celum and Dr. Chase Cannon also shared their insights with the UW School of Public Health into work being done in Seattle and worldwide to improve the lives of people living with HIV. Visit the UW School of Public Health Blog to read the full article or watch their talks below.

5 priority areas AIDS and HIV researchers are working on now

Featuring Dr. Connie Celum, Professor of Global Health, Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Director of the Center for AIDS Research, and Director of the International Clinical Research Center


How Seattle and King County are making HIV care more accessible

Featuring Dr. Chase Cannon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and MPH alum of the University of Washington School of Public Health

Click here to read the full post by the UW School of Public Health Blog.