Start of the H-TEAM – Professor Doctor Joep Lange – ‘The end of HIV in Amsterdam’
‘The end of HIV in Amsterdam’ – that was one of Professor Joep Lange’s ambitious missions. Before the MH-17 disaster in July 2014, Joep initiated an innovative project, in which all organisations involved were to collaborate to end HIV in Amsterdam: the H-TEAM initiative (HIV Transmission Elimination AMsterdam). Before Joep passed away, the foundations of the H-TEAM had been laid. Since then, all those involved devote their time and energy to fulfil Joep’s mission.
One team is responsible for each of the H-TEAM’s pillars. These teams develop and implement innovative projects independently to realise the objectives of the different pillars. The team members are all experts from the partner organisations. The managers of these project teams together form the Core Group. The Core Group, chaired by Dr Godelieve de Bree, is responsible for the daily management of the H-TEAM. The Steering Committee, chaired by Prof. Dr Peter Reiss, has the final responsibility for the H-TEAM and consists of the directors of the partner organisations.
In addition, two teams support the pillar teams, the Core Group and the Steering Committee: the Data Management Team and the Public Relations Team. The Data Management Team is responsible for coordinating data collection and data storage, monitoring results and methodological support. The Public Relations team supports all teams with developing communications strategies, press releases and other communications tools.
The H-TEAM collaborates closely with national and international initiatives that also focus on eliminating HIV globally and bringing together experts to share the latest scientific insights.
Fast Track Cities Initiative
The H-TEAM is part of the Fast-Track Cities Initiative, which was launched in Paris on World AIDS Day 2014.
The Fast-Track Cities Initiative is managed by the mayors and local governments of over 50 cities that have a relatively high incidence of HIV. Within each city, they closely collaborate with all parties involved, including the most vulnerable groups, activists and (local) healthcare providers.
The cities are being motivated to realise the following UNAIDS objectives by 2020:
• 90 per cent of HIV-infected people are aware of their status;
• 90 per cent of people who are living with HIV and aware of their status receive antiretroviral therapy (ART);
• 90 per cent of the people who receive ART suppress the virus;
• zero discrimination and stigmatisation.
The dashboard of the Fast-Track Cities website shows to what degree the cities have realised these targets. The page about Amsterdam can be found via this link: http://www.fast-trackcities.org/cities/amsterdam
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC),
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), in collaboration with the city of Paris, are the most important partners of the Fast-Track Cities Initiative. They support the participating cities.
In 2018, Amsterdam hosted the 22nd International AIDS Conference (23-27 July). More than 16,000 researchers, advocates, policy makers, funders and community leaders from over 160 countries came together in Amsterdam to make the conference a key milestone on the road to a world without HIV. Peter Reiss, chair of the H-TEAM Steering Committee, co-chaired the conference.
This was the second time in history that the International AIDS Conference took place in Amsterdam. The first time was in 1992. The theme of AIDS 2018 was ‘Breaking Barriers Building Bridges‘. Visit https://www.aids2018.org for session recordings and photos of the event.