IAPAC envisions a world in which people living with HIV/AIDS and associated co-infectious diseases may obtain the best healthcare available provided by physicians and allied health professionals armed with cutting-edge clinical expertise.
The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) was established in 1995 by healthcare professionals and civic leaders who recognized an urgent need for a coordinated medical response to the AIDS pandemic. At that time, there was no agency exclusively devoted to marshaling the coordinated strength of healthcare professionals worldwide to the benefit of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Seven years later, Chicago-based lAPAC, currently holds regional offices located in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Paris, France, and represents a professional membership of 12,000-plus physicians and other healthcare professionals in 89 countries. Its activities are conducted by a professionally diverse staff, spanning three continents, and are guided by an international Board of Trustees composed of highly esteemed medical, public health and advocacy professionals.
The association is recognized under the law of the United States of America as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Working worldwide in partnership with business, the healthcare professions, government, academe, and religious communities, IAPAC accomplishes its mission through a comprehensive program of education, advocacy, direct technical assistance, and care provision initiatives spearheaded by its physician members. Toward this end, IAPAC currently utilizes several educational and technical assistance vehicles, including a quarterly peer-reviewed journal (JIAPAC); a monthly clinical summary publication (IAPAC Monthly); a comprehensive Web site, an innovative Internet-based educational program (I-Med Exchange); a physician exchange program (African Medical Exchange Program); and regular local, national, and international clinical symposia. This comes in addition to ongoing medical training, evaluation and certification programs conducted internationally, in cooperation with industry, government and public health providers.
The strength of lAPAC is firmly rooted in the belief that the most effective and creative solutions to ongoing issues of access to, and provision of HIV treatment, evolve from within the association's membership. IAPAC provides educational services to its membership on best clinical practices in managing HIV and its associated complications, while it also develops and implements innovative public healthcare policies that reflect its membership's commitment to changing the course of the HIV pandemic.
IAPAC takes seriously the mandate from its membership to advance efforts that enhance the quality of HIV care provision. In the United States, IAPAC has for two years worked to expand the use of HIV clinical guidelines by HIV-treating physicians and other healthcare professionals -- more than 350,000 copies of the US DHHS Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents were distributed by IAPAC in 2001. IAPAC also convenes an annual two-day conference for leading edge, U.S.-based, researchers and practitioners of HIV medicine in order to facilitate critical discussion surrounding contentious issues in clinical management of HIV.
As a function of its major role in brokering international cooperation around access to appropriate HIV care, IAPAC has served as a monitor of two international drug access initiatives, and sponsors an annual conference on healthcare resource allocation for HIV/AIDS. lAPAC has also taken the leadership role in establishing an international medical training and certification program to measure core clinical competency of HIV-treating physicians in resource-limited settings. Toward this end, the Global AIDS Learning & Evaluation Network (GALEN) will soon prove a monumental step in ensuring access to appropriate HIV treatment in regions most affected by the pandemic. In addition, IAPAC actively participates in both national and international public policy development through its partnerships with such groups as the US National Organizations Responding to AIDS (NORA), the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional offices, and the European Commission.
There continue to exist a host of opportunities close at hand, for crafting and implementing programs that will make a measurable impact on HIV/AIDS care throughout the world. These opportunities make it imperative for the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care -- the only professional organization that on both a global as well as domestic level exclusively represents HIV care providers -- to actively present it's initiatives in advocacy, education, and technical assistance. To obtain further information about IAPAC, visit the IAPAC Web site at www.iapac.org.