Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing. Our next webinar is an update on the new virus and the work that is being done in response. Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace* from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will lead the discussion. The webinar will provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccine trials and what that means to communities. NMAC is working with the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) to bring our movement the latest information. In addition to webinars, the CoVPN will host workshops at this year’s United States Conference on HIV/AIDS. As a friendly reminder, the Abstract Deadline is July 17th.
The COVID-19 webinar is on Thursday, July 16th at 1 PM (Eastern)/11 AM (Pacific). All of NMAC’s webinars are free and open to everyone. Webinars not only provide information, they train staff and potential USCHA attendees on various technology platforms being used for distance learning.The COVID-19 Prevention Network (COVPN) was established by merging four existing NIAID-funded clinical trials networks: the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), based in Seattle; the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), based in Durham, N.C.; the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC), based in Atlanta; and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, based in Los Angeles, along with other collaborators. It is important to point out how the HIV research infrastructure is supporting the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Treatment education, whether it’s about HIV or COVID-19, is core to our work. Both viruses are infectious diseases that disproportionately impact People of Color. Solutions to ending either epidemic depend upon effective treatments and/or a vaccine. As we have learned in HIV, having tools that work is only the first step. You have to be able to convince people to take the drugs or get the vaccine. That is a complex challenge. Our unequal medical infrastructure combined with a mistrust of the government can create real barriers to ending either epidemic. Black Lives Matter is about addressing these inequities in our society. The color of your skin should not impact your access to medical care and it should not determine your belief in government but, for too many, it does.
*Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace is a research epidemiologist and an internationally recognized public health/social justice leader with more than 20 years of sexual/public health experience with diverse populations including LGBTQ and MSM populations, and more than 25 years of social justice/community mobilization experience. Dr. Wallace serves as the Director of External Relations for the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN) and HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), a Staff Scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington.