The Asia–Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS has opened in Bangkok, Thailand. More than 250 representatives of governments, civil society and international organizations from across the region are assessing progress on the response to the AIDS epidemic and considering challenges for the future.

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Good evening, everyone!

Namaste.

What a dynamic gathering.

As Secretary-General, I have been receiving a lot of attention, a lot of people [noticed] wherever I went but this evening seems to be an exception; I am the least-known, least important person sitting among these bright stars. They are shining a lot of lights. I have been completely overshadowed! That is why I came first [on the programme]: to show myself.

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Joint Press Release: Ministry of Health of Kingdom of Cambodia, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

The Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia and partners are reporting the available information about the magnitude of the cluster of new HIV diagnoses reported in Battambang province, initial results of the on-going epidemiological investigation and response. These efforts are led by the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD (NCHADS) in close collaboration with a wide range of national and international partners including: the University of Health Sciences (UHS), the Institute Pasteur in Cambodia (IPC), Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, Battambang Provincial Health Department, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), US Agency for International Development (USAID), KHANA, FHI360, ARV User Association (AUA), AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF), Population Services Khmer (PSK), Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope (SHCH), and Buddhist for Development (BFD).

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Press statement

An epidemiological investigation into the recently diagnosed HIV cases is under way.

GENEVA, 19 December 2014—UNAIDS expresses its support for the people reported to have been affected by the recent HIV diagnoses in Battambang Province, Cambodia. UNAIDS is joining partners in supporting Cambodia’s Ministry of Health as it conducts a full epidemiological investigation and takes all necessary measures to prevent further HIV infections.

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SA Launch

The guidelines for the sexual health response in Pacific island countries was launched by UNAIDS and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Suva, Fiji on 12 December. The President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, the Deputy Secretary General for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Cristelle Pratt and the UNAIDS Country Director for the Pacific, Tim Rwabuhemba participated in the launch.  Read More

Cambodia commits to stopping new HIV infections by 2020

The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, has committed to stopping new HIV infections by 2020 and ensuring the sustainability of its HIV response. This comes as Cambodia allocates US$ 3.7 million of national funding to HIV treatment from 2015 to 2017. This is the first time that the government has earmarked funds for its treatment programme, which, owing to the large numbers of people receiving antiretroviral medicines, is where resources are most needed. Read More

FIFA President launches “Protect the Goal” campaign in Sri Lanka

The President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Joseph S Blatter launched the Protect the Goal campaign in Sri Lanka during a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka in Colombo earlier this week. The campaign will use the convening power of football players to raise the awareness of young people regarding HIV prevention. Read More

The urgent need for evidence-informed and rights-based drug dependence treatment in Asia

The continued existence of compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres across Asia remains a serious concern. People who are suspected of using drugs or being dependent on drugs, people who have engaged in sex work or children who have been victims of sexual exploitation are often detained in these centres without due process in the name of treatment or rehabilitation. Read More