YANGON, 20 July 2017—A UNAIDS report on the global HIV epidemic finds AIDS-related deaths in Myanmar have dropped by 52% in the past 6 years which is the steepest decline in Asia and the Pacific. Since 2010, annual new HIV infections have also fallen by 26%. This is double the regional average of 13%. The new report Ending AIDS: Progress towards the 90-90-90 targets was launched at an event in Paris, France on 20 July.

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PHNOM PENH, 20 July 2017—A new UNAIDS report on the global HIV epidemic finds     57 000 of people living with HIV are accessing antiretroviral therapy in Cambodia, which is 80% of all people estimated to be living with HIV. This is more people than ever before and the highest HIV treatment coverage for Asia and the Pacific. It is a huge achievement for a country, which had one of the fastest-growing AIDS epidemics in the region 20 years ago. The new report Ending AIDS: progress towards the 90-90-90 targets was launched at an event in Paris, France on 20 July.

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Health ministers from the BRICS countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa) have agreed to strengthen their surveillance capacity and health-care services to respond to infectious diseases, such HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. They adopted a joint communiqué during the opening ceremony of the BRICS high-level meeting on traditional medicine, which is being held in Tianjin, China, on 6 and 7 July.

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Equal Eyes on Asia and the Pacific: July

Equal Eyes on Asia is a new round-up of the latest news on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues in Asia.

From the UN: The UN Human Rights Committee declared that Australian legislation that prevents married trans people from changing their birth certificates to match their gender identity is in violation of international human rights law. Australian officials contend that gender changes could result in same-sex marriages, currently illegal in the country.

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The Kokoda trail winds through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea and is billed as one of the world’s most challenging treks. Nearly 100 km long, the track goes through rugged mountainous terrain and hikers are buffeted by hot and humid days followed by intensely cold nights. Carol Habin is a member of the national organization of people living with HIV in Papua New Guinea, called Igat Hope Inc., and she decided to raise HIV awareness by hiking the trail in June. She joined a group of around 20 people from Australia, which also included HIV-positive people.

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SEOUL/BANGKOK, June 22 2017—More than 30 years since the start of the HIV epidemic in the Republic of Korea, a new survey found people living with HIV reported facing high levels of stigma and discrimination. The Korean People Living with HIV Stigma Index is the first peer-led research in the country to detect and measure how people living with HIV experience stigma and discrimination.
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BANGKOK, June 14, 2017 – Reducing rising rates of HIV transmission among Asian gay men through the innovative use of digital communications is the focus of a special event which opened today in Bangkok. Read More

Dy Sokha has a ready smile and calls out friendly greetings to doctors, nurses and patients as she walks through the bustling hallways of the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is brightly dressed in a peach pink shirt and is a full-time counsellor with the ARV Users Association (AUA), a community-based organization providing services to people living with HIV.

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