There is much to celebrate on this World AIDS Day.

Almost 16 million people are on life-changing HIV treatment worldwide and in 2014 new HIV infections had fallen by 35 percent since the peak in 2000. Read More

Home to the third largest number of people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia is a country critical to ending the AIDS epidemic in the region and on this World AIDS Day, we are at a defining moment. Only three decades since HIV arrived in this country, we can begin to close the chapter on one of modern history’s worst epidemics. In September, Indonesia was one of 193 United Nations member states to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals and commit to ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

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On 1 December, World AIDS Day, the Network of Thai Women Living with HIV registered as a Thai Foundation with the Thai government and pledged to use the funds raised by UNAIDS to build up its organization.

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May: a champion of women rights in Indonesia

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women. Meirinda Sebayang from Indonesia is a role model for many women in her community.

She was recently elected as chairperson of the National Secretariat of the Positive Indonesian network, a national network for people living with HIV and continues to work  at Spiritia Foundation which is a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and their families. She is also a mother of two children and expecting her third child. UNAIDS spoke to Ms Sebayang who prefers to be called May.

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Pham Thi Hai lives with her husband and young son in Thu Thanh commune, which is nestled in the mountainous region of Thanh Hoa province in central Viet Nam.  Her remote hamlet is 30 kilometers away from the district hospital and separated from the commune health clinic by the great Ma river.

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Maya is only 21 years old, but she has already had more life experiences than many people double her age. The transgender sex worker from Singapore is full of life and the picture of positive energy, so it’s hard to believe that she has experienced a lot of pain including abuse, rape and homelessness. Despite all the hardships, Maya thinks of herself as a fighter who has overcome everything that has been thrown her way. Today, she is a program coordinator for Project X, the only organization in Singapore that advocates for sex-worker rights. UNAIDS spoke to Maya about her extraordinary journey. Read More

Join #CloseToOpen campaign

#CloseToOpen is a campaign which promotes strengthened community action around HIV testing and treatment in Asia and the Pacific. The campaign is all about turning a possible setback into a step forward and is inspired by the famous adage “when one door closes, another one opens.”

It is important for everyone to know their HIV status, but many people avoid having an HIV test. Only when individuals knows their HIV status can they access antiretroviral medicine (ARVs). It is important to get on treatment, as quickly as possible because this keeps people healthy and also prevents the transmission of HIV to sexual partners.

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This week the 6th ILGA-Asia Regional Conference is taking place and as the largest conference of its kind on the continent it is an occasion to spotlight champions of the LGBTI movement in the region.

This year Nepal has taken several historic steps in recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In September the country adopted a constitution which protects LGBTI from discrimination, violence and abuse. This followed another recent decision to provide passports recognizing a third gender. These changes in laws and policies are transforming society, but history is made by people. UNAIDS and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) spoke with Meghna Lama,  a transgender woman, who is a champion of LGBTI rights.

Ms Lama grew up in a rural area and moved to Kathmandu, where she opened Pink Tiffany- the first of restaurant of its kind in Nepal. The place caters to the LGBTI community by providing a space where they can come to be themselves and have a good time. Ms Lama who won the 2010 Transgender woman contest in Nepal and represented her country at the Miss International Transgender Queen competition also works as a model. After she joined the Blue Diamond Society, she says she ‘found her sexuality’ and moved to Kathmandu to pursue her higher studies. Since then she has found great success but it hasn’t come easily.UNAIDS/APCOM spoke to Ms Lama about her extraordinary journey.

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