GENEVA, 6 September 2018—UNAIDS welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of India to annul key provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 criminalizes sexual relations between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

“Today is a day of gay pride, a day of celebration, a day when respect and dignity was finally restored in India for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “I applaud the brave activists, civil society organizations and community groups that have fought long and hard for this injustice to be reversed.”
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PRESS RELEASE 

Makati City, Philippines, 25 August 2018: UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach urged decision makers to address the causes that put young people at risk of HIV, speaking at the International Youth Day Conference organized by the United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines in collaboration with the United Nations Association of the Philippines, and held today at the University of Makati. “We live in a world where adolescents and young people, especially from key populations, are still left behind. We cannot fail to address their needs. I challenge the indifference and I call for action now,” said UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.

Every day approximately 230 young people are newly infected with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. In 2017, almost half a million young people between the ages of 15 to 24 years were living with HIV in the region.  In the Philippines, young people account for 69% of new HIV infections and data indicates that there is a growing HIV epidemic among young men having sex with men. Young key populations (including gay men and other men who have sex with men, bisexual people, transgender people, sex workers and people who use drugs) are at a high risk of HIV acquisition due to rights violations, discrimination, exclusion, criminalization and violence. Read More

Kofi Annan’s AIDS legacy

By UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé

A shining light of Africa has passed away. An African at heart, but a global citizen, Kofi Annan symbolized the best of humanity. He was a rabble-rouser, a troubleshooter and a change-maker.

At the turn of the century, AIDS denialism was at its peak. Mr Annan helped to break it. “More people have died of AIDS in the past year in Africa than in all the wars on the continent. AIDS is a major crisis for the continent, governments have got to do something. We must end the conspiracy of silence, the shame over this issue,” he said.

When Mr Annan began his term as the new United Nations Secretary-General in 1997, the outlook for the AIDS epidemic was bleak—some 23.9 million people were living with HIV, there were 3.5 million new HIV infections and access to life-saving treatment was only available to a privileged few. Read More

Taguig City, 9 August 2018 – City Mayor of Taguig, Ma. Laarni ‘Lani’ Cayetano, signed today the Paris Declaration to Fast-Track Cities: Ending the AIDS Epidemic, at the Kalayaan Hall in SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The Declaration was signed in presence of HIV advocates Miss Universe-Philippines Catriona Elisa M. Gray and actor JC Santos, DOH-NCR Regional Director Corazon Flores, UNAIDS Country Director for the Philippines Dr. Louie Ocampo, The Red Whistle founder Niccolo Cosme, and LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan. Pia Cayetano, Taguig City 2nd District Representative, also attended the event.

By signing the Paris Declaration, the Mayor of Taguig City pledged to put the city on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic through a set of commitments that include achieving the 90–90–90 targets by 2020, which will result in 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads. Read More

PRESS RELEASE 

Manila, 27 July 2018 — The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) pledged to fast-track the AIDS response in the cities, by signing a partnership agreement with UNAIDS to take actions and make investments which would contribute to reducing the number of new HIV infections in the country. The signing event took place on the fringe of the 66th General Assembly and Gala dinner for the LCP’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations on 27 July and brought together mayors and local representatives from 145 cities.

UNAIDS’ newly released report, Miles to go: closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices, shows that the annual new infections have more than doubled in the Philippines in the past seven years to an estimated 12,000 in 2017. With a 174% increase since 2010, the Philippines has become the country with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific. Cities and urban areas are particularly affected by HIV. Health authorities say that 70 cities, including the 17 cities in metro Manila, accounted for 80% of reported HIV cases in the country. Read More

Catch up on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex news and issues around Asia and the Pacific in this latest edition of Equal Eyes.

June 2018

HIV, Health, and WellnessPapua New Guinea published its first comprehensive survey on key populations, including trans people, sex workers, and gay men and other men who have sex with men. The survey, which showed that these groups often do not seek health care or get tested for HIV, will be used to create better HIV prevention and treatment services and policies.

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Cambodia’s HIV response over the past two decades has been highly successful and has led the country to be one of seven globally to achieve the 90-90-90 targets. The number of new HIV infections has fallen to approximately 654 in 2017, and Cambodia has the highest treatment coverage in the Asia and the Pacific region.

The success, while driven by the Government and civil society, has been heavily dependent on external financial and technical support. International investments amounted to 82% of financing for the HIV response in 2015. Analyses conducted in 2017 show that donor support is likely to continue to diminish in the coming years. Read More

Catch up on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex news and issues around Asia and the Pacific in this latest edition of Equal Eyes.

May 2018

From the UN: In Beijing, two UNAIDS ambassadors participated in an open dialogue with students at Peking University about the importance of combating discrimination to end the AIDS epidemic. Movie star and humanitarian, Huang Xiaoming, the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for China, reflected on what motivated him to become a UNAIDS Ambassador and why discrimination should end, stating that “it is important to be kind to everyone, it’s particularly important to keep our minds clear and objective, and to uphold justice and truth”. The First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo de Varela, UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America, urged students to integrate anti-discrimination into everyday actions:

“Just that smile, even though it might look very small to you, it can make another human being feel special, not discriminated or different.”

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