Fast-Track Cities Plus overview

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Birmingham committed to the Fast-Track Cities initiative at the official signing ceremony on 5 October 2022. Key stakeholders gathered to witness the signing of the Paris Declaration by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Maureen Cornish, and Tanja Dittfeld, the Regional Director for Europe at the Fast-Track Cities Institute.

Fast-Track Cities is a worldwide drive towards ending HIV. It is a partnership between a network of cities and four core partners:

  • the International Association of providers of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Care (IAPAC)
  • the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDs (UNAIDS)
  • the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • the city of Paris.

Originally the initiative aimed to target and eliminate HIV specifically, but in Birmingham, Viral Hepatitis (Hep B and Hep C) and Tuberculosis have been added to the initiative, because these conditions can be co-targeted with HIV. That is why the initiative in the city is now known as the Fast-Track Cities+ initiative (with ‘+’ indicating the addition of Viral Hepatitis and TB).

Although led by Birmingham Public Health, the initiative's progress is driven by commitment from local partners including:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement Specialised Commissioning
  • Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

Dr José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) and the Fast-Track Cities Institute, says:

“Birmingham is not only a city in the heart of England, but it is ‘city of heart’ as demonstrated by the unveiling of its AIDS and HIV Memorial, commemorating those we have needlessly lost to AIDS but who will never be forgotten and in whose honour we must all labour. Through this act alone, Birmingham has already shown itself to be a beacon of duty-bound commitment to the Fast-Track Cities goals, objectives, and targets.”

Partners from around the city have committed to address HIV, viral hepatitis and TB through a series of actions under the themes ‘New Ways of Working’, ‘Prevention’, ‘Testing and Diagnosis’, ‘Treatment’ and ‘Support Services’. Birmingham’s action plan is informed by a local needs assessment, and aims to ensure a joined-up effort and city-wide approach. It will be published on this page in the near future.

Councillor Mariam Khan, Health and Social Care Cabinet Member for Birmingham City Council, said:

“We have taken the bold action of officially declaring Birmingham as a Fast-Track City, and through signing the Paris Declaration the city will significantly benefit as it consists of a set of commitments to enable us to work closely with key stakeholders and health sector partners to end the public health threats posed by HIV. The Red Ribbons memorial is a reminder of loved ones lost to AIDS and HIV, but also the importance to end the stigma around blood-borne viruses.”

Watch the video below to hear what Birmingham being a Fast-Track City means to:

  • Dr Steve Taylor, HIV consultant at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Clinical Director for the Birmingham FTC+ Initiative
  • David Rowlands, an individual living with HIV
  • Councillor Mariam Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social, Birmingham City Council
  • Shabana Begum, South Asian Project Co-ordinator for the Hep C Trust and an individual diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2005

Page last updated: 12 July 2023

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