Daina from India is a young transgender woman, who is a first year Bachelor of Information Science student. Only 20-years-old, Daina has experienced, poverty, discrimination, sex-work and abuse, but today Daina stands strong. During a workshop organized by Youth Voices Count in Bangkok, Thailand, UNAIDS spoke to Daina about her struggles, how she overcame them and where she is today.

(The views and opinions expressed in interviews or commentaries are those of the interviewees and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of UNAIDS.)

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Su Su likes to run around trailing a kite in her hand. The 13-year old girl, whose face is smeared with Myanmar’s trademark thanakha powder often plays with the young Buddhist female novices, who live like her in Yaelae Taik Thit monastery, which is located opposite Waibargi Hospital in North Okkalapa Township, Yangon.

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Capturing LGBT pride in Asia

Watsamon Tri-yasakda who prefers to be called June is a 25-year-old freelance photographer who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. She graduated two years ago and her photo projects include event coverage as well as documentary photography and this year focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) stories. June photographed several major LGBT pride parades in Asia and recently covered “The One: Miss Teen Beauty Queen 2015” -a transgender teen beauty pageant in Thailand. UNAIDS spoke to June about her interests, passion and why she does what she does.

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Growing up gay in Bhutan

Meet Pema Doji, a tour guide and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activist from Bhutan, which is perched on the Eastern edge of the Himalayan mountains. Pema describes himself as an introvert who’s idea of a perfect day is staying home, sipping a cup of tea and reading a really good book.

He says he is socially awkward because of the bullying and discrimination that he experienced while growing up. After battling depression and  suicide attempts, Pema today empowers young people in Bhutan to deal with stigma and discrimination. Pema’s story is an example of what many young LGBTI from Asia and the Pacific face. During a workshop organized by Youth Voices Count, UNAIDS spoke to Pema about coming out, overcoming depression and much more.

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A young man wearing a striped red T-shirt and faded blue jeans enters a popular bar in downtown Quezon City, the Philippines. He starts speaking to the owner and is soon joined by several other young men. It’s 10 p.m. and the group blends in seamlessly with the other bar customers. The young men are not here to relax, though. They are peer educators and health workers employed by Quezon City’s health department.

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Growing old with HIV in Malaysia

Andrew Tan from Malaysia, was diagnosed with HIV in 1994. He was 34 years-old at that time and didn’t expect to live beyond his thirties. Today he is 55 years-old and open about his status and being a gay man. As another World AIDS Day is marked, UNAIDS speaks with Mr Tan about his many personal struggles and triumphs which in many ways have mirrored the wider developments taking place in the response to HIV. Read More

As part of World AIDS 2015, UNAIDS Pakistan and partners published Positive Diaries, which is a collection of photographs and interviews with men and women living with HIV in Pakistan. One of the people featured is Nazir Masih, the CEO and founder of the New Lights AIDS Control Society. The organization was the first in Pakistan to work with people living with HIV and their families.

When the organization was founded in 1999 there was no proper treatment center for people living with HIV, but New Lights worked to raise awareness and empower HIV positive people to face their challenges and build the skills they needed to live a quality life. It was the first organization to introduce antiretroviral medicine in Pakistan to its members in 2003. UNAIDS conducted the following interview with  Nazir Masih.

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The international motor racing star, Dilantha Malagamuwa displayed a red ribbon on his car at the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Championship Final, which was held at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida, USA just prior to World AIDS Day on 1 December. The Sri Lankan champion also participated in “Test Today”, an event held in Colombo to mark the day and raise awareness around HIV testing.

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