MPP participated in the 22nd edition of the ICASA Conference, the largest HIV/AIDS Conference in Africa. ICASA 2023 took place in Harare, Zimbabwe, in a hybrid format from 4 – 9 December 2023. The 2023 ICASA theme was AIDS IS NOT OVER: Address inequalities, accelerate inclusion and innovation.


Our in-person participation in some key sessions included:

Monday, 4 December

Accelerating Access to Better Medicines For Children

Co-convened by GAP-f partners (CHAI, EGPAF, MPP, PEPFAR and WHO) with AYARHEP

The Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations Network (GAP-F) partners including Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Medicines Patent Pool, The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the World Health Organization, with AYARHEP KENYA, held a session on accelerating access to better medicines for children: ensuring successful introduction of pALD and sustainability of pDTG.

Our wonderful speakers:
– discussed ways to increase access to better ARV formulations for children
– shared experiences that can guide successful introduction of pALD, including forecasting, procurement, supply and delivery, and for the sustainability of the delivery of pDTG in young children in lowest weight band
– identified opportunities for collaborations, coordination, and technical support for the introduction of pALD and sustainable access to better paediatric ARV formulations.

Access the GAP-f memo to know more >

Wednesday, 6 December

Leveraging communications for advocating for PrEP in Africa

Co-convened by MPP & Unitaid

MPP and Unitaid held a session on leveraging communications for advocating for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Africa.

The session explored the crucial role of strategic communications in promoting and advocating for the adoption and usage of PrEP, both oral and long-acting , in the context of HIV prevention.

We heard from Elmari Briedenhann of Wits RHI on why offering a variety of PrEP options is so critical, and the work that she’s doing in South Africa. We got especially excited to meet with Unathi, the first PrEP Artificial intelligence chat bot .

Then a panel discussion, chaired by Unitaid‘s Jackson Hungu, discussed effective communication strategies and messaging to empower communities, healthcare providers, and policymakers to embrace and prioritise the use of long-acting PrEP as per the World Health Organization guidelines ?

– Wame Jallow, Executive Director of The MTV Staying Alive Foundation;
– Yvette Raphael, Executive Director of the Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) in South Africa
– Kenly Sikwese, AfroCAB Treatment Access Partnership
– Newman Batanayi Madzikwa, Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe

MPP’s Gelise McCullough and Charles Gore respectively opened and closed this very interactive and packed session, emphasising on the fact that advocating for PrEP choices is for everyone to do! Creating demand now is key to ensure a strong signal to generic manufacturers for them to prioritise & accelerate development as this will lead to faster access.

Wednesday, 6 December, 15:05-16:10 (Harare time), VIP Lounge Room

Driving access to effective HIV treatment and prevention and leaving no one behind: Making the most of U=U and PrEP to decrease HIV transmission in Africa

Co-convened by MPP and The Society for AIDS in Africa

MPP co-convened an #ICASA2023 session with the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) on driving access to effective HIV treatment and prevention .

The session explored the different ways of driving access to effective HIV treatment and prevention, leaving no one behind to make the most of Undetectable equals Untransmissible (U=U) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to decrease HIV transmission in Africa.

MPP’s Charles Gore opened the session mentioning the remaining challenges to #EndHIV and explaining why access to HIV prevention and treatment was (still) very much needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

After an interactive session of Q&As (involving sticky notes ? ? ), Maureen Luba BA, MMSc of Malawi explained that U=U was about reaching an undetectable viral load for ALL people living with HIV and that everyone had a role to play. Cedric Pulliam, Ph.D. of the Prevention Access Campaign delivered a powerful message on the importance of including communities (esp. youth) with the introduction of long-acting PrEP. Agnes Chetty of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa presented the latest WHO guidance on PrEP. ? MPP’s Esteban Burrone reminded us about the joint efforts delivered by many partners to accelerate access to dolutegravir and mentioned that we were now on the verge of a prevention revolution and that CAB-LA had a role to play.

A panel discussion followed on how to make the most of PrEP and U=U with:
– Ntando Yola, Desmond Tutu Health Foundation
– Angela Mushavi, Ministry of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe
– Christoforos Mallouris, UNAIDS
– Morenike Folayan, Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA)
– Maureen Luba BA, MMSc of Malawi

We would like to thank all the speakers and panelists involved in this session, including Wim Vandevelde, Communities Delegation, Unitaid, who chaired the session; and Morenike Folayan, Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA), who monitored the second interactive session and provided closing remarks.