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Fast-Track Cities Podcast

Author: IAPAC

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This is the Fast-Track Cities podcast, the official podcast of the Fast-Track Cities Initiative; which is dedicated to building strong community-focused response strategies to eliminate HIV transmission and achieve zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030. This podcast series is brought to you by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, or IAPAC, which serves as the initiative's core technical partner.
16 Episodes
On this episode of HIV Connect we dive deep into the conversation around sexual health for people living with HIV, breaking down sexual stigma, and what healthy sex looks like. Marriage and family therapist Damon Jacobs and HIV educator LaDeia Joyce join Kalvin to celebrate pleasure and illuminate the obstacles that people living with HIV face when trying to obtain sexual health care.
Daily weight fluctuation is normal and comes down to what and when we eat, drink, exercise, and even sleep. For most of us, shedding the extra few pounds and or replacing fat with muscle seems like a never-ending quest. But for people living with chronic conditions, including HIV, significant weight gain is an important considerations that sometimes requires consulting with a clinician to get it right. On this episode of HIV Connect we will explore the ins and outs of achieving and sustaining a weight that promotes our overall health and well-being.
In the more than 40 years since the beginning of the HIV pandemic, we have come a long way from the introduction of modern Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in 1996 which consisted of multiple pills taken multiple times a day to the newly available option of long-acting injectable ART dosed six times a year. This shift in HIV treatment delivery has been touted as a gamechanger in relation to mitigating the Achilles heel of ART, notably maintaining near-perfect adherence. On this episode of HIV Connect we will explore this new treatment modality and its potential impact on as the science of HIV evolves and is implemented in real-life within clinical settings across the United States.
In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the important role mental health plays in our lives, as illustrated by the inclusion of mental health as a priority in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. The COVID-19 pandemic only served to exacerbate existing mental health conditions, including among people living with HIV. Additionally, though, people living with mental health conditions often experience discrimination and stigma that pose barriers to accessing and utilizing evidence-based mental health interventions – cognitive and therapeutic. In this episode of HIV Connect we will explore the critical role of mental health in the lives of people living with HIV.
More than a few years ago, the results of multiple clinical trials offered clear-cut evidence that consistent suppression of HIV with ART prevents sexual transmission of the virus. These studies unequivocally supported the concept the HIV treatment was also prevention, otherwise known as treatment as prevention, or TasP. While clinicians were aware of this evidence-based concept, it did not catch on with the HIV community until the Prevention Access Campaign launched the revolutionary U=U campaign with the pithier message communicating that undetectable equals untransmittable. In this episode of HIV Connect Kalvin speaks with Bruce Richman and Davina Conner about the win-win proposition behind this powerful message.
Finding a good doctor you can trust can be a significant barrier to getting quality care. Both HIV-informed and gender-affirming care provide their own challenges when dealing with ER visits, general doctors appointments, and health insurance. Today Kalvin speaks with britt walsh and Tori Cooper to discuss the intersections and challenges of getting quality care, and the positive changes they have seen in the healthcare system.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In the age of modern HIV treatment and care, individuals living with HIV can live long, healthy lives but what does healthy living with HIV look like today? On this episode of HIV Connect we will explore some of the elements that can enhance our quality of life beyond viral suppression. On this episode of HIV Connect, Kalvin is joined by Charles Sanchez and Dr. Allison Agwu to talk about how connectivity and mindfulness can contribute to living your best life!
Aging with HIV is more relevant than ever as over half of all people living with HIV in the US are now over the age of 50. Host Kalvin Pugh is joined by long term survivor Tez Anderson and HIV specialist Dr. Jonathon Applebaum to discuss what long term thriving looks like for those aging with HIV today.
On this episode of HIV Connect, host Kalvin Pugh dives into a topic that impacts the health and wellbeing of every person living with HIV: Adherence. Advances in technology and medicine have drastically changed means of adherence over the past several decades, and it remains critical to viral prevention and suppression. Kalvin is joined by Porchia Dees and professor Dr. K Rivet Amico to chat about the importance of adherence to medications.
HIV Connect Trailer

HIV Connect Trailer


HIV Connect is a podcast from the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. In each episode Kalvin Pugh IAPAC's Senior Advisor on Community Engagement connects with providers, advocates, and friends on the clinical and psychosocial issues that are important to those living with HIV today. From topics like medication adherence and aging with HIV, to equitable care and sexual health, aiming to raise awareness and destigmatize what it means to be living with HIV today.
Two pioneering US cities exemplify both the powerful nature of community-based responses to their HIV epidemics in the mid-1980s, as well as the innovations local stakeholders have harnessed to dream and think big as they endeavor to end their HIV epidemics. Join us on this episode of the Fast-Track Cities podcast series as we go on a global tour of cities accelerating their local AIDS responses, starting with New York City and San Francisco.
This Fast-Track Cities podcast episode relates how a global network of cities around the world joined together in solidarity to end AIDS as a public health threat. This backgrounder on the Fast-Track Cities initiative helps to set the scene for the remaining 9 podcast episodes in this 12-episode series, preparing listeners to embark on a worldwide tour of Fast-Track Cities.
The advent of antiretroviral therapy, or ART, in 1996 revolutionized HIV treatment, saving and prolonging the lives of people living with HIV who could access these expensive medication regimens.This Fast-Track Cities podcast episode reviews why ART and PrEP, as well as an optimized HIV care environment, are making real the aspiration of ending the HIV epidemic as a public health threat.
Darkest Days

Darkest Days


This episode of the Fast-Track Cities podcast covers the darkest days of the HIV epidemic starting in early 1980s, when whole communities were ravaged by a disease that seemed to spared no one, did not observe borders, and for which there were no treatment options. Affected communities rallied around their dying loved ones and friends, weaving a social safety-net to protect the dignity of the countless men, women, and children who were lost to AIDS.  
In this special episode of the Fast-Track Cities Podcast, IAPAC's Senior Advisor on Community Engagement Kalvin Pugh sits down with advocates and providers from across the globe to discuss aging with HIV, the importance of expectations, the power of choice and clinical power dynamics in the context of HIV care, and treatment. Kalvin is joined by Pholokgolo Ramothwala, journalist and long-time HIV activist. Dr. Vanessa Apea, Consultant Physician in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, and Dr. Ben Young, Global Medical Director of ViiV Healthcare.  For additional resources visit: This episode was sponsored by ViiV Healthcare.
Is HIV Sorted?

Is HIV Sorted?


This special episode of the Fast-Track Cities podcast series explores general awareness of and enduring misconceptions about HIV based on a survey of more than 24,000 Europeans. The episode features insights from clinicians, public health officials, and community leaders from six Fast-Track Cities in which the survey was fielded (Amsterdam, Berlin, Kyiv, London, Madrid, and Paris). Learn about their progress made and challenges faced in improving HIV literacy and fighting AIDS-related stigma.