Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015 and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific, has stepped up to support the COVID-19 response in the Philippines and the rest of the region. Among other initiatives, she has started a fundraising campaign with the aim of distributing 25 000 surgical and KN95 facemasks to hospitals in Metro Manila.

Ms Wurtzbach has participated in the online #RiseAsOnePH organized by LoveYourself in collaboration with UNAIDS and partners in support of the people on the frontlines and the communities most affected by the pandemic. She is taking her advocacy work to her social media platforms, where she has been sharing and amplifying key messages and guidance on preventing COVID-19 and HIV.

Ms Wurtzbach shared with UNAIDS what she is doing to support the COVID-19 response and talked about her feelings during this challenging time.

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COVID-19 is a serious pandemic, unprecedented in our lifetime. The Interagency Task Team (IATT) on Young Key Populations (YKPs) in Asia and the Pacific, concerned about the welfare of young key populations and young people living with HIV and the possibility of severe disruption to HIV prevention, testing, treatment and other related services during COVID-19 outbreak, launched a rapid survey to contribute to mitigating the impact of this pandemic. This survey assesses information needs, medication on hand, and ability to access HIV services and support networks among young key populations and young people living with HIV from Asia and the Pacific region during the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was developed in English but has later been translated into Thai, Burmese and Bahasa Indonesia. The outcomes of the survey are expected to help support local solutions through the leadership of young key populations and young people living with HIV in providing information, finding joint problem-solving measures, and being a voice for the voiceless. Initial responses in English will be considered in this paper and will be enriched by the analysis of findings in the other languages (Thai, Burmese and Bahasa Indonesia). Read More

Press Release

New Delhi, India, 23 April 2020 — In India, the UNAIDS Country Office has partnered with Reckitt Benckiser (RB) by joining forces to distribute over a million bars of soap to people living with HIV and key populations.

The soaps are being distributed through networks of people living with HIV, civil society organizations and community-based organizations as part of the national response to the COVID-19 epidemic. They have reached people in several states and union territories, including Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The soaps are being delivered to communities through outreach workers, who are also dispensing antiretroviral medicines and other HIV commodities, sometimes direct to the doorsteps of people who need them. Read More

UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and Global Fund met in September to unite around a shared understanding of the evidence and interventions needed to end AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

The region has seen a 9% decrease in new infections since 2010. This figure reflects a mixture of success in some areas but at the same time an alarming concerning increase and resurgence in epidemics in other areas. Key populations and their partners represent 78% of all new infections, with a large proportion not accessing sufficient HIV treatment and prevention services. Across countries, substantial gaps remain in the HIV testing and treatment cascade, with only 69% of PLHIV aware of their status and 54% accessing treatment. Read More

PRESS RELEASE 

In Asia and the Pacific, new HIV infections are rising in 7 countries. Over three quarters of new HIV infections are among key populations and their partners, who are still not getting the services they need.

Bangkok, 16 July 2019 —The pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific is slowing down, according to a new report released today by UNAIDS. The UNAIDS’ Global AIDS Update, Communities at the centre, shows a mixed picture with some countries in this region making important gains while, in others, the epidemic is outpacing the response and new HIV infections are on the rise. Read More

‘A true daughter of Fiji’ were the words described of the Late Honourable Dr. Jiko Fatafehi Luveni by the President of Fiji H.E. Joji Konrote during the Order of Fiji’s Investiture Ceremony at the State House in Suva, Fiji. Dr. Jiko Luveni was hounoured a Special Award: Global Health Leadership Award. This was received by her husband Lieutent Colonel (Ret’d) Inoke Luveni. The President also handed over the Global Health Hero Award from the World Health Organization (WHO) which Fiji’s former Speaker of Parliament and tireless health advocate Dr Jiko Luveni, had been posthumously recognized at the 72nd World Health Assembly in May. The award recognises those who have championed the cause of health, successfully influenced political agendas, and contributed to raising awareness on health issues globally. Read More

Bangkok, Thailand, 22 June 2019: Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha of Thailand has been appointed as the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for HIV Prevention in Asia and the Pacific. UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Programme and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Shannon Hader presented HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha with the certificate of appointment during a visit to Thailand, noting her commitment to advocating for and expanding HIV prevention and bringing services closer to people. Read More

Flash-mob videos that reach 545k viewers, engaging social media influencers, vlogs that speak to the realities of young people – these were just a few examples of powerful advocacy approaches currently being used by young leaders throughout Asia to promote the need for comprehensive sexuality education.

In a region where nearly half of the world’s youth live, the reality is that many face early and unintended pregnancies, they are vulnerable to contracting HIV, and have limited access to sexual and reproductive health services. Critical to addressing these issues is the need to ensure that all young people have access to evidence-based, age-appropriate and comprehensive sexuality education. Read More