Sunday Plenary

Sunday Plenary

Opioid Crisis – Fighting for Our Lives and Our Communities

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM


Deon Haywood, Women with a Vision, New Orleans, LA
Robert Suarez, Peer Network of New York & VOCAL-NY, New York, NY
Monique Tula, Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
Jesse Milan, AIDS United, Washington, DC
Megan McLemore, Human Rights Watch
Greg Millet, amfAR, Washington, DC

Early on, when injection drug use was a primary route of HIV transmission, Larry Kramer wrote about AIDS, “Unless we fight for our lives, we shall die.” Today, as people living with HIV gain access to treatments that allow us to live long, healthy lives, we are struck by the toll of opioid overdoses on ourselves and our communities – 116 people die every day in the U.S. from drug overdose. And, as the opioid crisis worsens, it threatens the progress made in reducing infectious disease transmission through injection drugs. HIV advocates suffered drug crises before, especially in our communities of color, and were among the earliest proponents of evidence-based strategies to address drug-related harm. Experts in America’s opioid epidemic and its intersections with HIV, STDs, and hepatitis will provide insight into the current landscape of the opioid crisis and offer tools for fighting it both collectively and at home.