Bridging the Gaps is an international alliance working to end the AIDS epidemic among sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBT people. The partnership is formed by nine international organisations and networks, including the international network of people living with HIV and the global key population networks, and over eighty in-country and regional partners in three regions of the world. Together, we work to strengthen civil society, advocate for human rights for key populations, and improve availability of and access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for everyone. With a majority of partners representing and led by the communities most affected by HIV and AIDS, we advocate for and practice a rights-based, community-led HIV response.
The Bridging the Gaps alliance supports HIV2020: An Alternative to AIDS2020. The HIV2020 Alliance has formed as an alliance of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV and treatment activists and allies, to organise an alternative event to the 2020 International AIDS Conference. In the US, where the next International AIDS Conference, AIDS2020 is to be held, there are travel restrictions in place for some of the communities that are most affected by HIV/AIDS, especially, sex workers, people who use drugs and people who have been formerly arrested. This will make it impossible for many representatives of the communities that form the heart of Bridging the Gaps to attend AIDS2020, and extremely difficult at best for even more.
HIV2020 will be an inclusive, international community-led event that centres the communities who have been most disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, some of which are excluded from participation in AIDS2020.
HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response is scheduled to take place in Mexico City, between July 5th and 7th 2020, and will run concurrently with the first half of the international AIDS conference. It will provide a safe alternative for individuals who cannot or will not enter the US in 2020 or who cannot afford to attend AIDS2020. This community-led event will centre issues of equity, parity and inclusion. It will be key population-led, inter-disciplinary, and sex positive.
Bridging the Gaps strongly supports this event, which aims to build a safe and friendly space for the equitable exchange of information, knowledge, experiences and expertise by ensuring diverse voices are heard and reflected. We know from our own experience that this can only be possible if community members and representatives are inclusively present in their diversity and treated as equal partners. We see HIV2020 as an important opportunity to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response.
More information about the conference can be found on the website: https://www.hiv2020.org
With this statement, we urge further statements of solidarity from key allies who can commit to disseminating information about HIV2020 as it becomes available.