London Councils has expressed a warm welcome to the international delegates attending Fast-Track Cities 2019, which takes place from 8-11 September at the Barbican Centre.
The conference is the first global gathering of more than 270 cities that are accelerating their responses to HIV. With the aim of highlighting successes achieved across the Fast-Track Cities network, delegates will hear from world-leading experts and share best practice for reducing HIV and other infectious diseases.
Fast-Track Cities 2019 meets less than a week after Public Health England published data showing that new HIV diagnoses are at their lowest level since 2000, with London making especially good progress. Overall new diagnoses in London declined 42% between 2015 and 2018 (from 2,585 down to 1,504).
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, London Councils’ Executive Member for Health & Care, said:
“It’s fantastic that London is hosting the first Fast-Track Cities conference and that HIV experts from around the world will be visiting our city.
“Boroughs are proud that London is now recognised as a global leader in HIV prevention. Local authorities have played a crucial role in London’s success through our collaborative London HIV Prevention Programme, and we’re fully committed to achieving the goal of zero new HIV infections by 2030.
“I hope delegates enjoy their time in London and have a productive conference. Fast-Track Cities 2019 is an important opportunity to share knowledge from around the world and strengthen our collective resolve to end HIV altogether.”
Through the collaborative London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP), London boroughs run co-ordinated city-wide campaigns and services. These include the Do It London campaign, an award-winning initiative set up in 2015 that helps Londoners understand how to look after their sexual health and prevent HIV transmission.
Paul Steinberg, Lead Commissioner of the LHPP, said:
“We’re very excited London is hosting this prestigious conference bringing together some of the world’s leading HIV experts.
“London is proud of its achievements as a Fast-Track City thanks to our public health campaigns, our world-class sexual health clinics and NHS services, our HIV voluntary sector, and the leadership of activists and politicians alike. This conference is a chance to share best practice as we strive towards our goal of zero new infections and zero stigma.”
London is a member of the worldwide Fast-Track Cities initiative and became one of the first global cities to meet the UN’s ambitious HIV diagnosis and treatment targets. Working together with other cities, London has pledged to achieve three key HIV goals by 2030: zero new transmissions, zero deaths, and zero stigma.