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SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Science



SYNCing to end the HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STI, Opioid, and COVID-19 epidemics through science starts with a recognition that the many of the same forces and inequities that drive one epidemic fuel the rest, and that scientific advancements in one field can lead to breakthroughs in another. During the height of the pandemic, advancements in COVID-19 vaccine research advanced at a stunning pace. These advancements were expedited, in part, by the groundwork laid by more than 30 years of HIV vaccine research.

This plenary will look at the latest in scientific advances in prevention and treatment research. Speakers will provide diverse perspectives on the state of the field today, including opportunities, obstacles ahead, and priorities for actions moving forward.

  • Wafaa El-Sadr, Columbia University / HIV Prevention Trials Network
  • Myron Cohen, University of North Carolina/HIV Prevention Trials Network
  • Lawrence Corey, Fred Hutchinson Center Cancer Institute / HIV Vaccine Trials Network
  • Gregorio Millett, AmFAR
  • Steven Shoptaw, University of California, Los Angeles

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

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SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Health Departments



Health departments are at the forefront of ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. Starting in 2019, 57 jurisdictions were accountable for making and tracking progress towards national EHE goals and indicators. One year later, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented opportunities and challenges to meeting these goals. As telehealth services expanded, some individuals increased engagement in HIV care. Conversely, fewer individuals accessed HIV prevention and care services, the public health workforce shifted priority away from HIV to COVID-19 response, HIV planning transitioned to all-virtual, and many service providers had to suspend services or close their doors. While health departments continue to face obstacles, they have adapted and innovated to reduce new HIV infections in their jurisdictions. This plenary session will explore progress, challenges, and strategies towards meeting the EHE goal and indicators over the past year.

  • Anthony Fox, DC Department of Health
  • Emalie Huriaux, Washington Department of Health
  • Oskian Kouzouian, AHEAD Dashboard Lead, HHS
  • Fernando Mena-Carrasco, Maryland Department of Health

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

CANN – Annual National Monitoring Report on HIV/HCV Co-Infection

The Community Access National Network (CANN) — in collaboration with HealthHIV, HealthHCV, and the National Coalition for LGBT Health — is hosting the 6th Annual National Monitoring Report on HIV/HCV Co-Infection. During the community roundtable, CANN will present its annual report on the state of co-infection in the United States, including a summary of the HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch. HealthHIV also will report on its Fourth Annual HealthHCV State of HCV Care National Survey. This event is sponsored by the ADAP Advocacy Association, Avita Pharmacy, Janssen Pharmaceutical of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and ViiV Healthcare.

  • Jen Laws, HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch
  • Marissa Tonelli, HealthHIV

Black Women’s Health: SYNCing and Inspiring Actionable Steps Towards Health Equity

The health of Black women is too often measured by poor health outcomes that result from barriers to quality health care, racism, and discrimination associated with the experiences these women face when accessing medical care in the U.S. Creating safe and equitable healthcare is a key component to addressing health disparities among Black women. HealthHIV is commited to reducing discrimination and stigma experienced by Black women and in 2021 launched a Black Women’s Health survey to provide insight and depth to Black women’s healthcare experiences.

Black women who participated in the survey reported being treated as stupid (33%), being stared at by strangers (28%), and feeling that their ideas were minimized or ignored (29%) when engaging with medical providers. Speakers will discuss the state of Black women’s health in the United States, the challenges faced by Black women accessing care, and actionable steps healthcare providers can take to make healthcare more equitable for Black women. The speakers will unpack the social determinants of health which impact Black women’s health and outline comprehensive and sustainable strategies to provide more equitable and culturally appropriate healthcare.

  • Jasmine Anthony, HealthHIV
  • Michelle Lopez, GMHC
  • Erin Starzyk, HealthHIV

Capacity Building Providers SYNCing to Enhance HIV Prevention in the U.S.

This roundtable discussion will present current and upcoming offerings in capacity building assistance (CBA) as well as ideas for innovative approaches to meeting the demands of learners to enhance preventing HIV in the United States.

  • Walt Colt, HealthHIV
  • Henrietta Croswell, Primary Care Development Corporation
  • Melissa Kelley, HealthHIV
  • Moya Brown-Lopez, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Jacqueline Peters, ETR
  • Kelly Reinhardt, CPN/University of Missouri–Kansas City

SYNCing LGBTQ+ Health Equity Across 50 Cities (and Beyond)

At this summer’s WorldPride celebration in Copenhagen, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) launched a groundbreaking study on LGBTI+ health equity across 50 cities worldwide. In addition to a comprehensive desk review of public health data, research, laws, and policies, this study included a survey of 275 key informants on a variety of LGBTI+ health equity issues. Beyond health outcomes and healthcare access, this report takes a broad look at LGBTI+ health, including social determinants of health, criminal justice issues, discrimination, and resilience. At this session, we will discuss the report and its findings with some additional highlights and analysis specifically for SYNChronicity.

  • Corey Prachniak-Rincón, International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
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“Cured” Documentary — A Presentation by the Co-Directors

Described as “fascinating” (Hollywood Reporter), “riveting” (The Queer Review) and “astonishingly rich ... one of the best documentaries of this or any year" (British Film Institute), CURED chronicles the battle waged by a small group of activists and their allies who declared war against a formidable institution — and won a crucial victory in the modern movement for LGBTQ equality.

Until 1973, the medical establishment classified every gay person — no matter how well-adjusted — as the victim of a disease. As long as lesbians and gay men were “sick,” progress toward equality was impossible. CURED takes viewers inside the David-versus-Goliath battle that led the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illnesses.

Even though CURED highlights a story from the past, it offers lessons that are profoundly relevant today. This film reveals how a handful of determined individuals can create lasting social change. Watch the trailer for CURED at https://www.cureddocumentary.com.

The film will be broadcast on PBS as a part of the acclaimed documentary showcase, Independent Lens, on October 11th – National Coming Out Day. You can tune in at 10/9c (check local listings). CURED will also be available to stream for free on pbs.org and the PBS app for 30 days after the broadcast.

In this session, co-directors Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon outline the groundbreaking discoveries they made during the production process for CURED and how this chapter of LGBTQ history relates to other social justice movements.

  • Patrick Sammon, Co-Director and Co-Producer of CURED
  • Bennett Singer, Co-Director and Co-Producer of CURED

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

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SYNCing to End the Epidemics Through Communities



This plenary session will feature community and organizational representatives from diverse communities throughout the U.S. working with communities to address the social determinants of HIV, HCV, STIs, opioid use, and now COVID-19 through a health equity and social justice lens. A dynamic panel of speakers will discuss their approaches to establishing equitable partnerships with underserved populations within their communities, most notably racial and ethnic groups and sexual and gender minorities, to create and implement dynamic interventions and initiatives geared to improving health outcomes at the community and individual levels. Speakers will share how they engage stakeholders and promote these initiatives within their communities, as well as evaluate their impact, using information gleaned from assessments to address gaps in services and identify directions for future efforts. The session will conclude with a panel discussion during which speakers will sync intersections in their unique approaches to improving community-based health, emphasizing those that are transportable and replicable within other communities.

  • Mandy Altman, Hepatitis Education Project
  • Kelly Ducheny, Howard Brown Health
  • DeMarc Hickson, Us Helping Us
  • Murray Penner, Prevention Access Campaign
  • Dan Scales, Vivent Health

Break / View Posters

SYNC 2021’s virtual poster halls will feature more than 50 presentation abstracts on the topics of HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment; Hepatitis C; COVID-19; MSM of Color Health; LGBTQ Health; Women’s Health; and intersectional public health topics.

HIV Prevention Institute, Part 2

“How for Now:” Overcoming Barriers and Routinizing HIV Self-Testing

Adapting to an ever-changing pandemic landscape has both created barriers and sparked innovation in the field of HIV testing. Programs have been forced to adapt in order to meet clients where they are by effectively updating and changing services based on the frequent shifts in national, state, and local COVID-19 protocols. Providers are tasked with effectively communicating these changes to their patients and promoting strategies to keep them engaged in care. This session will cover the shift from in-person testing to self-testing models, exploring successes, barriers, innovation, and routinizing HIV testing in this time.

  • Kate Curoe, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Kevin Lawson, OraSure Technologies, Inc.
  • Carla A. Mena, Hands United at Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Nkechi Onyewuenyi, Legacy Community Health
  • Daniela P. Simba, Hands United at Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Javontae Williams, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Fiscal Health Institute, Part 2

Identifying, Tracking, and Monitoring Ryan White Program Income to Enhance Patient Outcomes

Is your organization generating income from third party payors or the 340B pharmacy program and have a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program? This session will provide an overview of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) program income requirements; explain how to track and monitor program income; and explain how to effectively plan and budget program income for service expansion.

  • Jana Collins, KADAP Income Reinvestment Program

Utilization Management Institute

Utilization Management (UM) is the practice of managing, maintaining, and monitoring patient and consumer health care services. Ostensibly, UM works to ensure that the services provided are both medically appropriate and necessary using a value-based care approach. And while UM incorporates a wide array of evidenced-based data to make recommendations on allowable services, it also one of the most widely-used cost-containment strategies. This session examines the effects across some common UM techniques. In addition, this session will outline a set of guiding principles helps puts decision-making squarely into the hands of providers and their patients.

This session will be presented as a post-conference SYNC Series Webinar later this Fall.

ViiV Healthcare: Our Goal — End the Epidemic
Since 2013, Rare Patient Voice has awarded patients and caregivers over $7,000,000!
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