The International AIDS Society (IAS) has prioritized health care equity for key populations (often referred to as KPs) as one of its four major initiatives (the others are HIV co-infections, paediatric HIV and HIV cure). The IAS‘s Industry Liaison Forum (ILF) was developed to constructively engage industry and other stakeholders on issues in line with these priorities.

Industry has often been left out of discussions around key populations. However, industry plays vital roles in addressing the needs of people living with or at risk of HIV through the development of life-saving medication, essential diagnostics and prevention tools. It also has expertise in working with governments and international agencies to ensure that their products are accessible. Looking at emerging questions about reaching the “90-90-90” UNAIDS goals by 2020, it is clear that the global response to HIV will benefit from more engagement of industry partners around the challenges faced by key populations.

On 24 February 2015, the ILF held a thematic roundtable on key populations in Seattle, USA, to bring together a diverse group of experts from a range of backgrounds to discuss topics relevant to HIV where a multi-stakeholder approach, including industry, may lead to new and innovative solutions. Background documents for the meeting included the IAS publication, “Maximizing the Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy for Key Affected Populations” and the World Health Organization’s “Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations”.

The forum included keynote and “rapid fire” presentations from representatives of major key population groups and industry, among others, along with a wide-ranging roundtable discussion and debate. Participants learned about and discussed the issues and challenges and then drew together collective wisdom and recommendations for the way forward to meet the “90-90-90” goals for key populations.

This report synthesizes the discussion and outcomes of the meeting in a format that highlights themes and recommendations rather than the chronological order of presentations. It honours the open and frank spirit of the meeting by not attributing comments or ideas to individuals. All the points captured here were made in the meeting and are reproduced as faithfully as possible.

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.