MAY 29–31, 2024 | WASHINGTON, DC

SYNC2020 Archive

SYNC2020 was held virtually September 8–11, 2020.


Conference Guide

SYNC2020 Program Book

The digital Conference Guide is available in PDF format.

Download as PDF

Session Recordings

Credits are only awarded for session attendance at the live conference. Credits are not available for post-conference recordings.

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Plenary 1

SYNCing Implementation to Advance Health Equity – HIV, HCV, STI and LGBTQ Health

This plenary session will address the intersection of the social determinants of health, the global COVID-19 pandemic, national HIV, HCV, STI, and LGBTQ healthcare planning efforts, and racial and social justice issues — and the disparate impact on health equity and long-term health outcomes among medically underserved populations. Speakers from health departments, health centers, and AIDS service organizations (ASO) leaders will discuss their efforts to advance health equity through the development and implementation of culturally-responsive HIV, HCV, STI, LGBTQ, and now COVID-19 services.  A panel discussion will sync these issues and intersections, as well as their collective impact on health outcomes at the individual and population levels, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities and LGBTQ persons. 


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Plenary 2

SYNCing to End the HIV Epidemic During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This plenary will sync government agencies on Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative during COVID-19. Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) set an ambitious goal of harnessing the most powerful HIV prevention and treatment tools and leveraging advanced surveillance strategies to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. COVID-19 has complicated efforts as much of the public health workforce has been diverted to assist with the pandemic response. Hear from the lead EHE implementers, CDC, HRSA, BPHC, SAMHSA, HUD, and IHS as the leaders of the government health care agencies will discuss the latest updates on the Ending the HIV Epidemic implementation and how the community refocuses and re-engages in EHE midst of COVID-19.  Federal leaders will discuss how their agencies are advancing the EHE initiative while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Plenary 3

Aging, HIV Prevention and Care – Syncing Clinical, Structural and Practical Implications

During this dynamic plenary, presenters will provide insights on the clinical, structural, and practical aspects of HIV prevention and care among aging populations. The clinical section will cover data and contextualize the needs of aging populations, prevention, and HIV care. The structural component will review health systems and best practices within care coordination for aging PWH. The practical component will provide patient advocate insights on aging, HIV, and comprehensive prevention for people over 50.


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Plenary 4

SYNCing Syndemics and Health Equity: From HIV, STDs and HCV to Opioids and COVID-19

The epidemics of HIV, sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), hepatitis C (HCV), opioid misuse and overdose are widely recognized as a syndemic in the U.S. Access to health care services and medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders, income inequality, housing disparities, intensity of policing activities, employment status, and healthcare policies, are all related to the prevalence of substance misuse, overdoses, infection risk and morbidity. With the COVID-19 virus overwhelmingly targeting people who would already be vulnerable to disease, it is important to also examine how its interaction with other epidemics may exacerbate the disease burden in certain populations and increase health vulnerability. Panelists will highlight the importance of examining and addressing structural factors, health disparities and health equity to respond to the syndemic of HIV, HCV, opioids, and COVID-19 and how structural factors are addressed through intervention and policy to reduce vulnerability of at-risk areas and populations.


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Biomedical Interventions Institute

Integrating biomedical interventions into practice is a key component of ending the HIV epidemic. Providers must communicate effectively with clients to inform them of scientifically-supported interventions, ensuring client understanding and addressing client concerns. This session will cover the 10 most common myths about PrEP, discuss a PrEP patient survey, and highlight several PrEP marketing efforts to engage clients. 


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Real Talk: Black Women’s Health Institute

Black women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV and they experience poorer health outcomes and face barriers to accessing care if diagnosed with HIV. This session will discuss the impact of HIV on Black women and highlight the provision of biomedical strategies. The session will also include “real talk” and a discussion of innovative programs that can facilitate the end of HIV among Black women.


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HIV/HCV Coinfection Institute: Annual National Monitoring Report on HIV/HCV Co-Infection and Impact from COVID-19

Community Access National Network (CANN) will present its annual report on the state of HIV/HCV co-infection in the United States, including a summary of the HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch, as well as the impact from COVID-19. The COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. has exposed to many people, for the first, the inherent weaknesses that exist in our national healthcare system. From concerns about treatment coverage to widespread surveillance failures, this pandemic has demonstrated that, for most of the U.S., both federal and state governments have failed to invest in modernization, rural health, and surveillance infrastructure. This facilitated, multi-disciplinary panel discussion will focus on current data, real-world examples, and practical strategies for covering HCV cure therapies, federal and local harm reduction laws and policies, and the impact of COVID-19 on HIV and HCV transmission and services.


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Telehealth Institute I: Reducing Barriers and Increasing Access to Care Through Telehealth

The Telehealth Institute I features presentations from four programs that have engaged priority populations in virtual HIV prevention and care services. Telehealth increases access to care by reducing barriers such as time, stigma, and transportation. The presentations in the Telehealth Institute include live, two-way virtual care, smartphone apps, and virtual communities of practice, in both rural and urban communities.


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Telehealth Institute II: Leveraging Telehealth for Heightened Communication and Care Across the Continuum

The Telehealth Institute II features presentations from three programs that have engaged priority populations in virtual HIV prevention and care services. Topics highlighted within these presentations cover topics related to utilizing telehealth promotions and communication tactics, data tools, and mHealth to reach a variety of differing priority populations. 


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Transgender Health Institute

The Transgender Health Institute features six presentations addressing the value of stakeholder engagement, the importance of a sexual and gender minority culturally aware staff, in addition to providing a discrimination/stigma-free environment to holistically and intersectionally engage transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people in services. Presentations will cover the health needs of TGNC youth and adults, the importance of pelvic health education, how to reach hard-to-test communities in the Ball/House scene, strategies for engaging transitional age youth (TAY) in services, as well as exploring the intersections of identities with trans men of color, particularly Black trans men and Black trans masculine individuals. 


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Clinical Health Track Sessions

This track recognizes the need for the quality mental health services for people with HIV (PWH). Integrating behavioral health services into primary and specialty care can lead to better health outcomes for PWH. Practical integration and implementation of such activities requires intentional quality improvement (QI) activities.

  • Session #1: Behavioral Health Integration
  • Session #2: Methods for Enhancing Viral Suppression
  • Session #3: Improving Clinical Outcomes
  • Session #4: Expanding a Healthy Workforce

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Harm Reduction Track Sessions

The Harm Reduction Coalition and SYNChronicity 2020 are proud to unveil the new Harm Reduction track. Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies aimed at reducing the negative consequences around drug use; it is person-centered, non-judgmental and addresses drug use in the context of a person’s life. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with experts in the field during the following presentations: Harm Reduction: Balancing Flexibility and Advocacy; Barriers to Care: Racism and Stigma; De-escalation: A Community Skill; and Queering Narratives on Harm Reduction.  

  • Session #1: Harm Reduction: Balancing Flexibility and Advocacy
  • Session #2: Barriers to Care: Racism and Stigma
  • Session #3: De-escalation
  • Session #4: Lighthouse Learning Collective: Queering Narratives on Harm Reduction

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Innovative Practice Track Sessions

The Innovative Practice track features presentations from four programs that have implemented unique, leading-edge practices for HIV prevention and care across the continuum. Topics highlighted within these presentations include: bridging gaps that prevent HIV positive patients from being linked to medical care, utilizing synergistic partnerships to decrease the fragmentation of community services made accessible to HIV positive patients, utilizing data collection to enhance data collection methodologies, and effectively using media to reach and engage target populations in care. 

  • Session #1: Linkage and Retention in Care for Health Outcomes
  • Session #2: Partnerships and Integration
  • Session #3: Data Collection and Sharing
  • Session #4: Sexual Health Messaging Among MSM & Minorities

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LGBTQ+ Health Track Sessions

The LGBTQ+ Health track features four sessions that discuss barriers, policies, law, cultural competency, and successful campaigns regarding the LGBTQ+ community. This track will provide viewers with best practices and lessons learned from successful programs from across the country.

  • Session #1: A Bumpy Ride: Navigating Healthcare in the LGBTQ+ Community
  • Session #2: Following the Map: Working Together to Make Change
  • Session #3: Rolling Down the Window: Smoking Cessation in the LGBTQ+ Community
  • Session #4: Enjoying the Ride: The Importance of Peer Support and Community in Healthcare

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Social Determinants of Health Track Sessions

The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) track features thirteen presentations addressing four SDOH elements: health equity, LGBTQ education, trauma, and mental health and housing. Social Determinants of Health are the conditions where people are born, live, work, and socialize that are shaped by resources, money, and power which promote health inequities and impact the overall health of individuals and communities. This track will explore SDOH within the context of these four elements and identify how organizations, public health programs, health departments, and providers can assess and respond in order to address client needs to impact overall health and wellness. 

  • Session #1: Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity
  • Session #2: LGBTQ Education Around Social Determinants of Health
  • Session #3: Trauma and Social Determinants of Health
  • Session #4: Mental Health, Housing, and Social Determinants of Health

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Fiscal Health Track Sessions

This track has been curated to build on best practices in the fiscal and organizational sustainability of healthcare and social service organizations by building their fiscal and grants management capacities, as well as building a systems thinking approach and external knowledge of syncing epidemics. Track attendees will begin by taking a look at integrated planning to end the epidemic. Attendees will then have the opportunity to review organizational sustainability models and examples of innovation in models of care within the field. Thursday’s sessions will consist of demystifying 340b compliance, and providing a breakdown of and best practices in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program income tracking and allocation. 

  • Session #1: Planning to End the Epidemic
  • Session #2: Organization Sustainability Models
  • Session #3: Maximizing Your 340B Program: Balancing Optimization and Compliance
  • Session #4: Expanding Your Services and Community Impact: Spending Program Income

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HCV Health Track Sessions

The SYNC 2020 (virtual) HCV Health Track focuses on sharing stories, strategies, and successes to improve health outcomes from organizations serving people living with or at risk for hepatitis C. The track will highlight models and lessons learned for engaging underserved or socially-disadvantaged populations in HCV screening and treatment, integrating HCV and HIV services, and addressing federal and local policy, surveillance, and workforce barriers to HCV prevention, care and treatment.

  • Session #1: Realizing the Cure: HCV Testing and Treatment Models for Key Populations
  • Session #2: SYNCing Services to End the Epidemics: Lessons Learned From Integrated HIV, HCV and Behavioral Health Initiatives in the Southern U.S.
  • Session #3: Optimizing HCV Screening, Linkage to Care, and Treatment for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Patients
  • Session #4: Policy, Programs, and Payers: Addressing Structural Barriers to Improve HCV Health Outcomes

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Women’s Health Track Sessions

  • Session #1: The intersection of Health Literacy, and Women’s Health: Leveraging our Experience and Research to Improve Health Outcomes
  • Session #2: Creating a Circle of HIV Care for Women
  • Session #3: The Invisible Community of Women Ending the Epidemic

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Generational Health Track Sessions

  • Session #1: The Resilience Models of Long Term Survivors: Aging & HIV
  • Session #2: Empowering Youth Leadership Through Cross Cutting Generational Concepts
  • Session #3: Sexual Health Frameworks Across Generations

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HRSA/HAB Track Sessions

This track will highlight several projects and technical assistance funded by HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau. Presentations will cover Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), improving hepatitis C surveillance, training and technical assistance available to the HIV community as well as capacity building as it relates to Ending the HIV Epidemic.

  • Session #1: HRSA Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Initiative
  • Session #2: Improving Hepatitis C Virus Surveillance Capacity to Identify and Treat HIV/HCV Coinfection
  • Session #3: Training and Technical Assistance Available for Community Based Organizations and the HIV Community
  • Session #4: Building Community Capacity for Engagement to End the HIV Epidemic

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MSM of Color Track Sessions

The MSM of color track addresses the intersections of HIV, HCV, STIs, and LGBT health among MSM of color, particularly among racial and ethnic minority groups in underserved and disenfranchised communities. Sessions in this track stress the importance of building the capacity of the healthcare workforce through multi-stakeholder informed learning and curriculum development; engagement and collaboration informed by quantitative and qualitative data; peer navigation programs based on community-based participatory action research-informed approaches; and stakeholder engagement supporting greater uptake in HIV prevention approaches among underserved perspectives.

  • Session #1: Best Practices in Learning and Curriculum Development to Support Holistic Health Among MSM of Color
  • Session #2: MSM of Color: Engagement and Community Collaboration
  • Session #3: MSM of Color: Developing and Supporting Peer Navigation to Improve MSM Engagement and Retention in Care

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PrEP Health Track Sessions

Participants will learn about system based and client-centered approaches to increasing engagement and retention in PrEP. Topics covered will include model strategies for promoting PrEP adherence using technology, the importance of PEP as a gateway into PrEP usage, the prioritization of overlooked populations in PrEP outreach, and the incorporation of PrEP awareness into different areas of clinical practice. 

  • Session #1: Adherence & Retention
  • Session #2: Health Navigation and PrEP
  • Session #3: Scaling Within Priority Populations
  • Session #4: Health Systems and PrEP

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Substance Use/Opioids Track Sessions

  • Session #1: Developing Whole Person Health Systems to Support People Who Inject Drugs
  • Session #2: Utilizing Client-Focused Engagement to Increase Linkage to Care
  • Session #3: Integrating Low-Barrier Substance Use and Harm Reduction Services

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Special Session

Syncing Activism, Advocacy & Organizing Through HIV Criminalization Modernization

This session will educate participants about HIV and the criminalization of people living with HIV that is occurring domestically and globally. Knowledge of this issue coupled with other stigmatizing intersectionalities are what participants need in creating and building advocacy programs. The model of this session will be based off a coalition recently organized and two established movements as your key presenters which are – The Ending HIV Criminalization and Overincarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA), Florida HIV Justice Coalition, and the Georgia HIV Justice Coalition. 


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Special Session

Diversifying the HIV Workforce

This dynamic session will focus on how colonization has influenced the health/social service fields and the need to increase the capacity of emerging leaders of color within these spaces to equip them with skills, mentors, and introspection that help them advance in their varied personal career trajectories. This session will cover the development of HealthHIV’s HIV Prevention Certified Provider Program (HIV PCP), which is an online, self-paced CME curriculum composed of five courses in HIV prevention detailing the pertinent clinical and practice information that clinicians need to effectively employ HIV prevention interventions.


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Special Session

Intersectional Stigma and Access to Comprehensive Care

During this session, participants will learn how stigma undermines access to care in marginalized communities, most notably racial and ethnic groups and sexual and gender minorities, which bear a disparate burden of non-communicable and infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and COVID-19. Stigma in this session will be described as a set of interrelated oppressions based on clients’ race, sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or health status. Several persons with HIV will describe the impact of stigma in their lives. Providers, in turn, will discuss evidence-based approaches to improving access to care among underserved client populations. Participants will have an opportunity to submit questions before and after the session.