JAKARTA, 10 September 2021: UNAIDS in partnership with Australia has launched a new AUD2.7 million program in Indonesia. The program will support community-led organisations to improve prevention and testing services and address inequality, stigma, and discrimination for people living with HIV.

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Garfield and volunteers at Sisters Foundation in Pattaya, Thailand distributed emergency relief supplies to the transgender community during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in April 2020. Photo credit: APTN

More than a year has passed since the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, with some countries seeing dramatic surges in cases in recent months. Increasing inequality and stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and key populations continue to disrupt peoples’ access to HIV prevention and treatment services.  

Since the first COVID-19 outbreak in the region, UNAIDS Asia Pacific has continued to work alongside regional key population networks to support communities to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Through a regional project ‘Strengthening the regional community response to the needs of key populations in the context of COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific’ funded by UNAIDS AP, with general support from the Department of Foreign and Trade of Australia (DFAT), key population networks promoted access to relevant and timely information about COVID-19 targeted to key populations and people living with HIV, assessed their challenges and needs and recorded best practices from community-led responses. 

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With the upcoming United Nations High-level Meeting on HIV and AIDS only days away, kickstart your HLM experience with the Asia – Pacific virtual side event!

This side event will showcase the strength of communities with speakers from different countries throughout Asia and the Pacific, celebrate their innovative and effective HIV & COVID-19 response and hear the lessons they have learned along the way. 

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Event Banner for the Young Key Populations Side Event

Young key populations leadership and innovations in the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific

The young key populations’ side event at the High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS 2021 will highlight YKP specific issues from the Asia Pacific and shed light on the current HIV epidemic amongst YKPs. The panel consisting of young key populations, youth innovators, the Ambassador of Health and Security Australia and the Government of Thailand will share ground-breaking programs, lessons learned, and testimonies from young key populations leaders. The side event will also offer good examples of YKP leadership and their contributions to the HIV response, including the COVID-19 response and share lessons learned from innovative HIV and SRHR programs targeted to YKP.

Date and Time: Monday 7th June 2021 at 13:00 – 14:30 (Bangkok Time)

How: Streamed live via YouTube https://youtu.be/vWqQtlOG0cc | Facebook: facebook.com/YouthLEADAP

Click here to view the concept note for this side event

This side event is co-organised by Youth LEAD, UNAIDS Asia Pacific, UNFPA APRO, UNICEF EAPRO and UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub

Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!

Message by Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific

Today, the 17th of May is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia. This year’s theme is “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!”

The powerful theme was chosen due to the recent challenges that the world has faced this past year.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer people and people in all their diversity continue to face high levels of violence and inequalities. Punitive laws continue to criminalize their behaviours, identities and gender expressions. Stigma and discrimination is still pervasive and jeopardizes their access to health, education and work.

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Manila/Bangkok, 10 May 2021: The UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima will embark on her first virtual mission, a two-day visit to the Philippines to speak with communities, civil society leaders and representatives from the government to discuss the country’s response to the HIV and COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual mission comes at an opportune time, just before the UN Member States, including the Philippines, will come together on 8-10 June 2021 for the United Nations High-level Meeting on HIV and AIDS to renew commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. 

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Social media campaign for Asia and the Pacific

The High-Level Meeting (HLM) on HIV and AIDS will take place between 8 and 10 June 2021. The HLM will review the progress made in reducing the impact of HIV since the last United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS in 2016 and is expected to adopt a new political declaration to guide the future direction of the response. The HLM and the accompanying political declaration will provide a critical opportunity to review progress towards the 2016 targets and political declaration, endorse new 2025 targets to ensure accountability and keep the world on track to ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat, and come with an agreement on a new Political Declaration for the next five years of the HIV response to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The proposed new Political Declaration will be informed by the new Global AIDS Strategy 2021–2026. Regions and countries will play an essential role in developing regional priorities to underpin and feed into the declaration’s consultative and negotiation phases. The participation of the communities and organisations of people living with HIV, key populations and other vulnerable populations will be fundamental for the success of the HLM.

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A new scoping review examines sexualized drug use (SDU) among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Asia, in order to understand the socio-sexual context of drug use, to inform effective HIV and drug policy and programmatic responses in Asia, and to guide future qualitative research in the region.

Bangkok, 10th March 2021 – To shed light on sexualized drug use among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) in Asia, APCOM commissioned a scoping review of locally informed qualitative research under the technical guidance of Dr Angela Kelly-Hanku, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research / Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Australia and Jamee Newland, University of New South Wales (Australia) and financial support of the UNAIDS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The objective of APCOM’s scoping review, titled “A qualitative scoping review of sexualised drug use (including Chemsex) of men who have sex with men and transgender women in Asia”, was to inform effective HIV, harm reduction and programmatic responses in the region, and to guide future qualitative research in the Asia.

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