Prevention Staff and BCAP's E.D. Attend 2023 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit in Las Vegas!
On April 11 and 12, BCAP’s Prevention Team and our Executive Director, Frank O’Caña, attended the 2023 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit (BHPS) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This conference focuses on and highlights the implementation of the biomedical tools, such as PrEP, Treatment as Prevention, and Undetectable = (U=U), in our prevention and treatment efforts to ultimately end the HIV epidemic in our communities.
Each year, BHPS chooses a theme to add emphasis to the conference’s purpose. This year, the Summit chose to emphasize sex and pleasure. Since sex is the primary way that HIV is transmitted, it is important to focus on consensual sex in all its iterations. Normally, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but it is the goal of BHPS and everyone who attended to help ensure that what happened in Vegas on April 11 and 12 influences HIV prevention and treatment all over the country!
While at the Summit, BCAP staff had the opportunity to attend several large plenary talks, as well as smaller sessions that highlighted the work that is being done around the country. The large plenary talks included topics such as, “The Politics of Sex and Pleasure in the Age of Pandemics,” “The Fallout of Refusing Federal Aid [for HIV and reproductive health services],” “Black Women, Sex, Violence, and HIV,” and the need for a National PrEP Program. Importantly, across all the large plenary talks, the importance of centering and elevating the voices, needs, and health of cis- and trans- women of color, particularly Black and Brown women, was a focal point. It is imperative, when Black women make up 58% of new HIV diagnoses among women in the US, despite making up only 13% of the US population of women, that we center their voices and their needs. As we heard in the conference, we will not end the HIV epidemic everywhere for everyone if we do not end it for Black and Brown women.
In addition to the larger plenary talks, each staff member was able to attend many different small group sessions, with different areas of focus, to enhance our service delivery here at BCAP. Here is a sampling of some of the sessions we were able to attend:
What’s Next? Understanding the Science of Getting an Effective HIV Vaccine
Understanding Taboo Sexuality, from Queer Sex to Bug Chasing
Pharmacy Based PrEP Prescribing Innovation
PrEP as a Safety Planning Tool for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Culturally Informed Approach to HIV Prevention in Kink-involved Populations
We Have Sex, Too! Biomedical Interventions for Older Gay Men
U=U Loves PrEP: Capacity Building to Support Status-Neutral Approaches
We learned so much from many people who are doing such amazing and important work across the country. As a team, we feel so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. Experiences like the Summit always bring us new ideas, new approaches, and a revitalized excitement to come to BCAP each and every day to do the work that is needed.