What’s on: AIDS 2020 Virtual for treatment activists

Kicking off on Monday 6 July, with a workshop on innovative strategies to reduce prohibitive drug prices, we’ve compiled some of the key events and presentations that we will be hosting or joining at AIDS 2020 Virtual.

The theme of this year’s conference is resilience. As activists we know the importance of overcoming obstacles, but not everyone is able to be resilient, and certainly not all of the time.

If overpriced medicines, stockouts, or stigma and discrimination, prevent you from accessing essential services and life-saving treatment – it’s clear that staying mentally and physically healthy is difficult if not impossible.

Key players in the pharmaceutical industry have been resistant to fair, affordable drug pricing for too long. “Business can no longer be a priority; tackling today’s global health crises must be placed ahead of pharmaceutical companies and shareholders’ financial goals,” says Othoman Mellouk, the Make Medicines Affordable campaign lead. “We know treatments for HIV, TB, COVID-19 and all life-threatening illnesses can be manufactured affordably if patent barriers are removed.”

Our global, civil society partnership won’t stop until everyone can access the life-saving medicines they need. We believe NOW is the time for fundamental change. During the conference we will be sharing strategies, data and success stories – which demonstrate how that change can come about.

See you in the lobby!


Leadership workshop

PRICES CAN BE LOW – NOW DON’T BE SLOW: Innovative strategies to lower your medicines procurement costs

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, PDT/San Francisco
Workshop Channel 2

This is a session that government officials, procurement agencies and treatment activists won’t want to miss!

With the overpricing of essential medicines putting a strain on health budgets around the world, leaving millions without essential treatment, this workshop will look at:

  • The causes behind monopolies.
  • The impact on procurement and health budgets. 
  • The policies and tools available in international agreements and national laws to address unfair monopolies.
  • How utilising these tools can stimulate robust generic competition and significant price reductions. 

Case studies and key initiatives from UN agencies and civil society will be shared, which demonstrate success in increasing access to affordable medicines.

Download the event flyer.

Photo EXHIBITION: Love, Life and Riots

Our photo exhibition, Love, Life and Riots, will be on display at the Global Village (6-10 July 2020) via the Arts Exhibition Channel.

When health budgets won’t stretch to treat everyone in need, the most vulnerable are left behind. Treatment activists around the world are fighting to bring down patent barriers and make medicines affordable.

Hear from:

  • Noi, a coordinator for the Thai Network of People Living with HIV (TNP+) who believes that: “If a pharmaceutical executive saw my baby die, they’d still over-price their drugs… They know the damage, but they put business first. They detach from reality while mothers detach themselves from their children.”
  • Vera, who is fighting for gender equality in Ukraine: “If optimal treatment exists it should be affordable and available to everyone.”
  • And activists, including Valeria, who are striving for, and getting closer to, permanent change to ensure equitable access: “We’ve been fighting for health care reform [in Ukraine]. The health minister changed and so now it’s delayed again. When he was appointed he said, ‘of course there’s a need, but we have time, there’s no rush’. I’m furious. YOU might have time, but we don’t! It’s not about you… It’s about us: It’s about me, my kids, my neighbours.”


On Thursday 9 July, the University of Liverpool and its research partners will launch some new data which will be impossible to ignore.
Supported by Make Medicines Affordable, the research highlights the extent of over-charging on HIV drugs and demonstrates that it is possible to treat more people with less expenditure.

Reaching UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets worldwide: Predicted benefits and treatment costs with generic manufacture.


We’ll be attending this session organised by STOPAIDS: 

Overcoming barriers to achieving the 90-90-90 targets in the time of COVID-19: A snapshot of prices and accessibility of medicines and diagnostics.

Session description: There is an urgent need for a discussion on how to address the barriers that’s preventing the international community from achieving the 90-90-90 and other global HIV targets. Bringing together a panel of leading community, civil society and intergovernmental actors; this discussion will explore multifaceted challenges in the access to medicines space. We’ll be sharing best practice and reflecting on how the international community must better work together to achieve global HIV targets.


ITPC Global, including the Make Medicines Affordable campaign, regional networks and partners, are exhibiting a number of poster presentations, which can be accessed via the programme, including:

  • Oppositions against abusive patents on medicines by civil society: an effective way to break market monopolies and reduce treatment costs.
    Presented by ITPC Global. 
  • Patent Oppositions Academy: A promising community-driven learning initiative to prevent low-quality patents on medicines and promote access to treatment.
    Presented by ITPC Global.
  • More for less: Should intellectual property (IP) related interventions be funded by the Global Fund?
    Presented by ITPC Global.
  • Promotion of access to medicines: Is compulsory licensing (CL) or voluntary licencing (VL) the answer?
    Presented by AIDS Access Foundation, Thailand.
  • 3-step research on patent monopolies impact on access to essential treatment for HIV patients.
    Presented by 100% LIFE, Ukraine.
  • Mission (im)possible: how people living with HIV will change patent national legislation on access to treatment in Ukraine.
    Presented by 100% LIFE, Ukraine.
  • Impact of patent monopolies on increasing access to dolutegravir in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: snapshot analysis and generic access scenario.
    Presented by ITPC in Eastern Europe & Central Asia (ITPCru).
  • The role of civil society in price reduction of Hepatitis C treatment in Morocco.
    Presented by ITPC in the Middle East and North Africa (ITPC MENA).
  • HIV treatment in Morocco and Lebanon from the perspective of recipients of care.
    Presented by ITPC in the Middle East and North Africa (ITPC MENA).
  • The witch promoting cccess to medicines dialogues: Encouraging community engagement.
    Presented by Fundación Grupo Effecto positive (FGEP) in Argentina.
  • South American Regional Observatory: Networking and srategising to improve universal access to treatment for HIV and Hep C.
    Presented by Fundación Grupo Effecto positive (FGEP) in Argentina.
  • Public purchases and HIV 2018 in Guatemala.
    Presented by ITPC in Latin America and the Caribbean (ITPC-LATCA).