INOPUP (International Network of People Using PrEP) is a new project for 2021, created by the team at UK based PrEPster in coalition with Mexico based INSPIRA.
INOPUP brings together frontline PrEP educators and activists from around the world to create a network to share knowledge, strategies, resources and research, and to collaborate on educating and agitating for PrEP globally. The first phase of INOPUP includes participants from Chile, Georgia, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, and the USA.
Led by those of us who are using PrEP (or who seek to use PrEP), INOPUP builds on principles of good participatory practice (GPP). INOPUP aims to put the voices of PrEP users at the forefront of PrEP education and advocacy, creating space for individuals and organisations that are currently not part of regional or global health networks. The network seeks to capture and build on the diverse knowledge, experience and skills locally, regionally, and globally, and facilitate sharing, nurturing and working within and across regions of the world.
We’re seeking individuals and small-scale organisations to participate in INOPUP, especially grass-roots and community educators and activists who have a reach or influence (or who aspire to) within their country or region.
What we're aiming to achieve in the first year
In the first year we aim to set the foundation stones for the network and its activity. We aim to have 24 individuals or organisations participating within the first year, with a small programme of regional and global activity happening within and beyond the network. This will include activity that reaches and engages with the peers of the network (including other PrEP users). By the end of the first year, we aim to have established a medium-term roadmap for the network’s future activity.
Expectations from a network partner
As a multi-directional network, there’s an expectation that participants in the network contribute to and identify the skills and knowledge they will bring to the network, as well as those that they will want to get from it.
Participation in a minimum of four network meetings per year
These meetings will be held virtually, and mostly in ‘time zone’ clusters of network partners, with occasional all-network meetings
Participation in network organised events including those targeting peers and other PrEP users
These might include language specific, sub-population specific, or regional events
Participation in the exchange of knowledge, strategies, and resources between network partners
This might include, for example, consultation on development of other network partner’s information materials; giving permission to other network partners to adapt and re-use materials or resources; being involved in ‘think tank’ conversations to develop cross-network materials or information
Participate in development of cross-network strategies, policies and research that strengthen the voices and participation of people using PrEP
This might include being involved in ‘think tank’ conversations to develop good practice in involvement of people using PrEP, or in future PrEP research
Questions about INOPUP
INOPUP (International Network of People Using PrEP) is a new international network of PrEP educators and activists. The network aims to share knowledge, strategies, resources and research, and to collaborate on educating and agitating for PrEP globally. The network seeks to put the voices of PrEP users at the forefront of PrEP education and advocacy, making space for individuals and organisations that are currently not part of regional or global health networks. INOPUP was created by the UK based team at PrEPster, in coalition with Mexico based INSPIRA.
If you are a PrEP educator or activist and would be interested in participating in the network then we’d love to hear from you. We’d like to hear from you if you are, or have been, a PrEP user (or seek to be), and if you are involved in community PrEP education or activism. Please be sure to read all of the FAQs before getting in touch.
As a new and developing network we’ll be focusing first phase participation in the parts of the world where we currently have fewer participants, and in population groups that are less represented in the network. We aim to establish a network of 24 individuals or organisations within the first year. If we already have participants in the part of the world you’re from, we’ll aim to link you up with those existing participants, or invite you to come into the network in the next phase. In the first phase it’s essential we get a global balance.
In the first phase of INOPUP, our focus will be on involvement of individual educators and activists, and small-scale organisations. Many medium-large HIV organisations already have processes in place to network, and have ‘seats at the table’. If you are a PrEP user who works or volunteers in a medium-large scale organisation, we’d love to hear from you about your participant – but you’d be coming on board in your own right, and not to ‘represent’ your organisation.
The short answer (for now) is: no. We are not seeking to be a network of networks. We’re aware of the great work being done by other regional and global networks, and we’ll be putting processes in place to liaise and communicate with those networks. We understand that some individual participants might also be part of those networks – but we are not seeking ‘representatives’ from other networks to join INOPUP. Rather, we are seeking individuals and small organisations. How we work alongside other regional and global networks will be established as INOPUP develops.
Involvement of people using PrEP is essential to the development of HIV prevention, policy and research. And yet, our voices are frequently left out or not explicitly included. For example, we’ve seen PrEP trials and preventative vaccine trials developed without explicit inclusion of PrEP users in community advisory boards. We’ve seen ‘community’ involvement and participation around PrEP being led by people or organisations who won’t be the recipients of PrEP, or who do not have transparent ways of involving PrEP users. INOPUP seeks to reframe how we collectively understand ‘involvement’, and especially ‘community involvement’.
There’s a strong history of good participatory practice (GPP) in the field of HIV treatment and care. That has included people with HIV being – quite rightly - at the forefront of decision making, consultation, community engagement, and participation in drug trial design, policy initiatives, and best-practice development. INOPUP supports and celebrates this history of people with HIV leading community involvement and participation. Building on this GPP best-practice, INOPUP believes those of us using PrEP should be front and centre of decisions and consultation about research, policy and practice relating to PrEP.
If your primary reason to get involved is funding, then INOPUP is not the network for you! As a new and developing network, we currently have no major funding attached to the network. The current planned activity of the network in its first phase involves minimal resource commitment from each partner member. INOPUP’s networking principles revolve around reciprocity: that each participant exchanges knowledge and becomes involved to build their own (organisation’s) capacity, and to build the capacity of other participants. It’s a multi-directional process!
In its first phase INOPUP has some seed-funding from Elton John AIDS Foundation that covers initial development of the network. That funding covers 2 days a week of staff time at PrEPster to establish the network. As the activity of the network develops, we’ll seek new funding opportunities if and as appropriate.
We welcome opportunities to discuss future resourcing of INOPUP with appropriate funding partners. It is a policy of the network’s founding organisation not to take funding directly from: pharmaceutical companies; companies that manufacture tobacco products; and companies involved in the sale or manufacture of armaments and weapons.