Liu Jiulong is the first person in China to complete an AIDS RIDE. This fundraiser and HIV awareness raising bicycling event has been popular in other countries like the USA for many years. However, in China fear of stigma and discrimination have kept many people living with HIV from taking part in public events.
“Cycling promotes a healthy lifestyle and the AIDS RIDE is a good way to promote correct HIV prevention knowledge to the general public,” said Liu Jiulong.
Italian Photographer Vincenzo Floramo caught up with Mogok Pauk Pauk, the celebrated transgender fashion designer from Myanmar and captured her story as well as some snapshots from her daily life.
Vincenzo Floramo writes:
Mogok Pauk Pauk is called “Fairy God Mother” by her friends and her story is one of passion and dreams fulfilled in the face of big obstacles.
It all started in Mogok, a city famous for its rubies, where Mogok Pauk Pauk moved to when she was only five years old. Even though Mogok Pauk Pauk was born a boy, she loved to dress up in clothes for girls and wear makeup and she would help her mother with the family hairdressing business. She became the target of scorn and bullying because of her feminine interests, but she didn’t let that stop her.
Sopheap became an entertainment worker in Phnom Penh, Cambodia because she wanted to leave behind the poverty that often kept her hungry at night. While she now makes enough to support her family, she welcomes the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training new ministerial regulation which recognizes entertainment workers as having the same rights as other workers. The regulation protects entertainment workers from violence, sexual harassment, excessive working hours and low pay, forced labour, including forced alcohol consumption.
During a business trip to Asia, UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, Victoria Beckham, took the opportunity to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic. In meetings with business leaders, she urged them to increase private sector involvement in the response to HIV to help end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé visited Viet Nam on 24 and 25 October 2014.
Despite Myanmar’s progress in the AIDS response, HIV treatment is still largely available only in big cities. In the country’s capital of Yangon, some monks have opened up their monastery to people living with HIV who come to the city to access HIV treatment.
AIDS 2014 took place 20-25 July in the Australian city of Melbourne under the theme “Stepping up the pace”. Delegates from all over the world participated in a series of sessions, panels and community-led discussions to take stock of the progress made, analyze the latest scientific advances and mobilize governments and communities to chart the way forward to end the AIDS epidemic.
In the week leading up to the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), a teams of volunteers led by representatives of UNAIDS, UNESCO, Youth Voices Count, Youth LEAD and APCOM chalked rainbows across school yards around Bangkok, Thailand. Called #schoolrainbow, the initiative aimed to bringing awareness to the problem of bullying, particularly towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students, at schools in Thailand and around the world. Such bullying can lead to a higher risk of illegal drug use, unprotected sex, HIV, self-harm and suicide.
Nearly 4000 delegates from more than 80 countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, for the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP11). The Congress opened officially on 19 November 2013. Building on UNAIDS vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths, the theme for this year’s ICAAP is Triple Zero – Investing in Innovation.
Photo credit: UNAIDS/Kway Kway Winn (Shwedagon pagoda in Myanmar)