Two young men are sitting on a couch scrolling on their phones when May Oo, a famous makeup artist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) activist in Myanmar, joins them wearing a face mask and carrying a bag of drinks. He announces that a friend who works at an HIV clinic in Yangon told him that pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is now available in Myanmar. As one friend is unaware of PrEP, May Oo shares his knowledge, also informing anyone else wo would like to listen in.

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Despite decades of advances in prevention and treatment, stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and key populations are a persistent barrier to addressing the epidemic. To encourage innovative approaches to address HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the region, UNAIDS has launched a new tool: the HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination Community of Practice: Asia and Pacific Region.

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While the number of new HIV infections in Indonesia decreased by 3.6% in 2021 to around 27 000, the country remains one of the countries with the highest number of new infections in the Asia and the Pacific region. Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a medication that is highly effective at preventing HIV infection so making it available to groups of people most vulnerable is a key priority.

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GENEVA/BANGKOK, 22 August 2022—UNAIDS applauds Singapore’s announcement that it will repeal section 377a of the country’s penal code which criminalizes consensual sexual relations between men. The law, which dates back to 1938 when Singapore was under British colonial rule, punishes gay consensual sex by a prison sentence of up to two years.

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The global HIV response is in danger. Progress in prevention is faltering around the world.   Action to tackle the inequalities driving AIDS is urgently required to prevent millions of new HIV infections this decade and to end the AIDS pandemic. 

Bangkok, 28 July 2022—New data from UNAIDS on the global HIV response reveals progress has faltered, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result. The new report, In Danger, has been launched ahead of the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Canada. The report highlights the human suffering wrought by the AIDS pandemic, especially for marginalised communities across the world. It sets out the devastating consequences if urgent action is not taken to tackle inequalities which drive the pandemic.

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Bangkok, Thailand 25, April 2022 – UNAIDS regional and country teams met with key government partners, civil society and community networks at the Regional DFAT Grant Implementation Meeting to share progress, achievements, opportunities and areas for strengthened collaboration in Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

The meeting took place in Bangkok, Thailand, between 21-22 April 2022, and was joined by the government, civil society, communities and country office representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. 

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Bangkok, Thailand, 29 May 2022 – UNAIDS Asia Pacific releases a new report, showing that key populations are being left behind in universal health coverage with a landscape review of health insurance schemes in the Asia-Pacific region.

Universal health coverage is guided by the principle that individuals and communities receive the services they need, including essential good-quality health services, without suffering financing hardship. The establishment or expansion of government-sponsored health insurance is often promoted as the main vehicle to finance universal health coverage. For people living with HIV and people from key populations (sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, people in prison) living with or at risk of HIV, universal health coverage is considered a health-for-all solution for countries to integrate all HIV services, including prevention.

This report examines three key objectives to understand how well existing health insurance schemes are working for key populations in the region:

  • Health insurance coverage and access to health insurance for people from key populations.
  • Types of services covered in health insurance, including prevention services for people from key populations.
  • Mechanisms adopted for maximum service coverage for people from key populations.

Download the report

The Queen of Sheba

This story was written by the Association of People Living with HIV (APLHIV) from Pakistan* on the occasion of International Women’s Day

Memories occasionally come flooding through her mind and she remembers those difficult times through flashbacks as vivid as if it was only yesterday. Life wasn’t a bed of roses to start with; born in a poor family, married as a teen in another poor family; hers was the familiar story of countless women across the region.

One day, during an HIV outbreak in one of the provinces, she was tested for HIV. She still remembers the day when someone told her she had something called HIV, and not only her, but her husband as well as her children. When she asked some questions, she could tell she was being dismissed. But inside, those three letters i.e. H*I*V* had stoked the ambers of her curiosity.

Many would have given up hope but not her. She decided to educate herself about HIV and AIDS. She asked questions, many of which were ignored, but she asked again and again until someone gave her the right answer.

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