U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS 2020 Moves Online
NMAC announced on June 22, 2020, that in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among attendees, the 2020 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA) scheduled for October 19–21, has been reimagined as an online event, as many other conferences and gatherings have done.
In consideration of the impact of COVID-19 and the recent Black Lives Matter protests, NMAC will return to the 2017 conference theme: Family Reunion 2.
“While we are very disappointed that we won’t be able to hold USCHA in person in Puerto Rico this year, we hold the health and safety of our community as our priority,” Paul Kawata, Executive Director of NMAC, said in a press release. “We felt that having 3,000 people travel and gather in one space for several days was too great of a risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Virtual 2020 USCHA will prioritize training that helps the HIV community manage the impact that COVID-19 has had on HIV prevention, treatment, and care, with five plenaries, sixty workshops, twelve institutes, and a virtual Exhibit Hall. New this year will be a Jobs Fair. Recognizing that 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, USCHA will bring together the people who need jobs with the organizations who receive the new End the HIV Epidemic funding for hiring.
Registration for USCHA is free for the first 4,000 non-federal and non-corporate registrants. In addition, the Indian Health Service and the Albuquerque Indian Health Board, with resources from the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund and in partnership with NMAC, will offer free registration for USCHA for all U.S. federal- and state-recognized tribal members/citizens, employees, contractors, and volunteers; U.S.-based Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders; and others directly affiliated with those communities.
“Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, we also felt it was important for our community to meet, even if online,” Kawata continued. “We know that many people in our community have been dealing with isolation and depression and other triggering issues right now. USCHA 2020 will give everyone a meeting that is welcoming and embracing and inspiring even if we can’t be together in person. Now more than ever, we need our family.”
Registration is open at the USCHA website, www.uscha.life.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.