This year’s conference motto is “Integration and Inclusion for Impact”, reflecting the importance of an integrated approach to urban responses to HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis that prioritizes inclusiveness in health and social care.
The event was opened by Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, who has been an active advocate in the fight against HIV for many years. Femke Halsema has been chair of the supervisory board of Aids Fonds-STOP AIDS NOW!-Soa Aids Nederland since 2016. In her speech, she proudly noted that Amsterdam had only 9 HIV transmissions in 2022, reflecting the excellent efforts made by this city in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The conference’s high-level panel focused on “Inclusion as a Driving Force: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities for Realizing SDG 11.”
The Fast-Track Cities 2023 conference is a one-of-a-kind event. The event is organized by IAPAC together with UNAIDS and other partners. The main objective of the conference is to create a platform for experience sharing and knowledge transfer in addressing pressing issues of HIV, TB and viral hepatitis in cities. Also on the agenda is to address cross-cutting issues faced by local stakeholders.
It should be noted that for almost 10 years of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, almost 500 cities around the world have signed the Paris Declaration. There are 29 signatory cities in the EECA and SEE region. All signatories declared concrete steps to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 to end the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) goals to eliminate HBV and HCV by 2030.
This year, for the fourth time, Fast-Track cities from around the world will gather on the conference site.