In October we sat down with a number of attendees at the 2019 AIDS Philanthropy Summit to ask an important question: What does it mean to be an HIV funder today? As the epidemic continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to explore this topic, which is why we’ve made it the subject of FCAA’s latest video series.

In the short few months since we launched this series, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world – how we work, how we communicate, and how we support the fight against HIV and AIDS.

We considered pausing this series given the overwhelming amount of content that is in everyone’s in-boxes. However, many stories have noted the parallels between the early HIV epidemic and COVID-19 (Read: Mark Schoofs How to Survive Yet Another Plague) and we know that there is so much to be learned from the HIV movement (Read: UNAIDS – Rights in the time of COVID-19. Lessons from HIV for a effective, community-led response). In the end, we have determined that this series is as relevant as ever.

Today, we are sharing the latest in the series from Julia Lukomnik. Serving as a program officer with the Open Society Public Health Program, Julia supports sex workers to advocate for their human rights and access health services and legal representation. She previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme and the Uruguayan government on the health and social needs of transgender and sex worker communities. Having Julia’s interview as the first that we share in the midst of the current outreach outbreak was very intentional; her perspective on why a democratic society requires prioritizing the health and rights of vulnerable populations is equally critical for the HIV and COVID-19 response.

Hear what Julia has to say in our latest video.

And please join the conversation! We want to hear what you think it means to be an HIV funder in our current environment. Let us know by using the hashtag #FundAIDSFight.