Feature story

Six cities and a Ukrainian community-led organization recognized at Fast-Track Cities 2022 Conference

11 October 2022

At a Fast-Track Cities 2022 conference reception held today in Seville, Spain, six Fast-Track Cities and 100% Life, a Ukrainian community-based organization, received 2022 “Circle of Excellence Awards” and the “Community Leadership Award,” respectively, in recognition of their political, public health, and community leadership.

Earlier this year, the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and Fast-Track Cities Institute (FTCI), in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), launched a nomination process to identify cities from six geographic regions whose work exemplifies the Fast-Track Cities mission. Both IAPAC and UNAIDS are core partners of the Fast-Track Cities initiative, which was launched in 2014 and today comprises more than 400 cities engaged in ending their urban HIV epidemics by 2030. The six cities selected to receive the 2022 “Circle of Excellence Awards” include:

  • Asia-Pacific: Quezon City, Philippines
  • Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Latin America/Caribbean: Kingston, Jamaica
  • North America: New York City, NY, USA
  • Southern/Eastern Africa: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Western/Central Africa: Lagos State, Nigeria

The Mayors of Quezon City (Ms. Ma. Josefina Belmonte), Kingston (Mr. Delroy Williams), and New York City (Mr. Eric Adams) accepted their cities’ 2022 “Circle of Excellence” awards in-person (Mayors Belmonte and William) and via video (Mayor Adams). Public health department officials accepted awards on behalf of Amsterdam, Johannesburg, and Lagos State.

100% Life was recognized both for its efforts during the ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as that of other community-led organizations in that country who have advanced humanitarian and public health efforts on behalf of Ukrainians living with and affected by HIV. Ms. Valeria Rachynska, who is Human Rights, Gender, and Community Development Director at 100% Life, accepted the 2022 “Community Leadership Award” on behalf of her organization and partner organizations across Ukraine.

“Political, public health, and community leadership are at the heart of the Fast-Track Cities movement and are integral to averting AIDS-related deaths, stemming new HIV infections, and eliminating HIV-related stigma,” said Dr. José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of IAPAC and FTCI, which launched the two awards at the Fast-Track Cities 2021 conference. “Congratulations to 100% Life and the six cities honored for their exemplary leadership. May they serve as an inspiration for other community-led organizations and cities as they respond to their urban HIV epidemics with bold leadership.”

“Among the lessons that we have learned in tackling HIV is the need for bold political leadership, global solidarity, ensuring communities are at the center of the response, and a commitment to human rights. This has been true for COVID-19 and will be true for other pandemics to come,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Ending inequalities is the most effective way to ensure that we are more prepared for the next pandemic.  We look to city leadership to do this.”

In 2021, the “Circle of Excellence Awards” recognized five Fast-Track Cities: Bangkok, Thailand; London, England, UK; Nairobi City County, Kenya; San Francisco, CA, USA; and São Paulo, Brazil. The 2021 “Community Leadership Award” recognized GAT, a community-led organization providing health and social services to people living with and affected by HIV in Portugal.

Additional information from our partner

International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC)

Related: Sevilla Declaration on the Centrality of Affected Communities in Urban HIV Responses Unveiled at Fast-Track Cities 2022 Conference

Remarks by Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director