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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Bangkok, Thailand, 8th of March, 2021 – To mark International Women’s Day, the International Community of Women Living with HIV Asia and the Pacific (ICWAP), in collaboration with UNAIDS AP, is launching a social media campaign on the leadership of women and girls living with HIV from Asia and the Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign calls to close in on inequalities that drive vulnerabilities to overcome the COVID-19 health crisis and end the AIDS epidemic.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world that celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women and girls, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. “Women leaders have provided a guiding light for the world in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, from heads of government to coordinators of grass-roots social movements,” says Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.

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Bangkok, Thailand, 5th of March, 2021 – To mark Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS AP launched a regional social media campaign that showcases the voices of people, communities and networks around the impact of inequalities and stigma and discrimination in Asia and the Pacific.

On Zero Discrimination Day this year, UNAIDS highlighted the urgent need to take action to end the inequalities surrounding income, sex, age, health status, occupation, disability, sexual orientation, drug use, gender identity, race, class, ethnicity and religion that continue to persist around the world. Inequality is growing for more than 70% of the global population, exacerbating the risk of division and hampering economic and social development. And COVID-19 is hitting the most vulnerable people the hardest—even as new vaccines against COVID-19 are becoming available, there is great inequality in accessing them.

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Bangkok, Thailand, 1st of March, 2021– To mark Zero Discrimination Day, APCOM launches a short report that compiles stories and articles published in the Covid-19 Effect Series, a newsletter created by APCOM to profiles issues, challenges and solutions from the LGBTQI communities and key populations across Asia and the Pacific. Since April 2020, with more than 19 issues, the series has provided a platform to leverage the voices of people living with HIV and LGBTQI to share stories, highlight challenges, showcase innovation and build strength within these communities.

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New report provides update on trends in the region and outlines the problematic laws and policies that continue to impact people living with HIV and key populations1

Bangkok, 14 January 2021 – Reforming laws and policies to ensure they are grounded in evidence and human rights is essential for an effective HIV response in Asia and the Pacific, says a new joint report by UNAIDS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In 2015, 193 United Nations Member States agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This included a goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 and leaving no one behind through a multisectoral, rights-based, people-centred approach that addresses the determinants of health. Yet, legal and policy obstacles continue to undermine an effective HIV response in the region – particularly among vulnerable populations – limiting access to prevention, testing, treatment and care services.

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Warm smiles greet Lily as she approaches her first stop for the day. It is one of the 11 brothels scattered across the country that Lily, the President of the Bangladesh Sex Worker Network, visits quarterly to check in with the women and see what assistance they require. Though her visits have been limited in recent months due to movement restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Lily knows well enough that those smiles are a brave front for the troubling times that her peers have confronted.

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Islamabad, 9 December 2020: The Government of Pakistan has recently launched another landmark initiative, the Essential Package of Health Services—its national version of universal health coverage. Universal health coverage is a globally promoted initiative and is in line with Pakistan’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly target 3 on health for all and leaving no one behind.

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