The AIDS Funding Collaborative (AFC) is committed to supporting HIV/AIDS leadership, and capacity building, among professionals and people living with HIV/AIDS. In its 10th year, the AFC’s annual Community Briefing and Luncheon last week welcomed more than 40 community partners who heard from a panel of HIV/AIDS service professionals and advocates about the HIV/AIDS related conferences they attended over the past year.
Every week it seems there is another awesome training or meeting or conference that offers the potential for new insight, insight into problem solving or an opportunity to boost your skills. Who has the time and resources to go to everything? Or, on the flipside, maybe you just can’t go to one more conference or training, and wish someone would give you the top three bullet points of what you need to know. Well, if you work in HIV/AIDS care or prevention, or are even in close proximity to HIV/AIDS, the AFC has you covered.Every week brings so many opportunities to boost your skills, but if you work in HIV/AIDS care or prevention and can't go to everything, AFC is here to help Click To Tweet
The briefing began as a mechanism for the AFC’s discretionary grantees to report back to the community on the highlights, and lessons learned, from conferences they attended with AFC funds, but it has become so much more. Now, it’s a much anticipated event to learn and network, where emerging science, best practices and advocacy priorities are shared.
Many of the conferences represented at the briefing had a national scope and audience – like the National Conference on Social Work in HIV/AIDS Care, the U.S. Conference on AIDS and the National Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit – to the Transforming Care Conference, which brings nationally recognized speakers to Columbus, Ohio. AFC staff also shared relevant learning from the Racial Equity and Institute Phase 1 Training, and the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit staff shared a round-up of new HIV/AIDS science.
Attendees also heard about the need for culture shift to reduce community, and internalized, stigma associated with sexual identities and HIV, and the need for increased connection among those impacted by HIV to reduce social isolation.
Through the briefing, attendees learned more about how positively impacting the HIV epidemic requires a systems approach, and a racial justice lens, to address underlying health inequities. This can happen with sound policy change, such as modernizing HIV criminal laws and improving coordination and access to healthcare. Attendees also heard about the need for culture shift to reduce community, and internalized, stigma associated with sexual identities and HIV, and the need for increased connection among those impacted by HIV to reduce social isolation. There also continues to be scientific progress towards improving the health and quality of life for those with HIV, and preventing new infections with effective biomedical interventions. The research for a cure also continues.
The following is a listing of professional development opportunities brainstormed by Community Briefing panelists and attendees. Most of these opportunities occur annually or biannually and should be considered while drafting professional development budgets for 2019.