Asia is facing an unprecedented HIV epidemic among gay men and community health advocates are looking for innovative solutions on how to stop the virus from spreading. Chris Lagman is one of the founding members of LoveYourself, which is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community organization based in the Philippines. He is also the co-primary investigator of the PrEP Pilipinas project, which will officially introduce PrEP in the Philippines by 2017. Read More

The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) and UNAIDS have signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration to protect the rights of people living with and most at risk of HIV. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Islamabad, Pakistan on 21 October by Zafarullah Khan, Executive Director, PIPS and Mamadou Sakho, UNAIDS Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan in the presence of Marriyum Aurangzeb, National Convener, Parliamentary Sustainable Development Goals. Read More

A Chinese delegation visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 11 to 13 October to promote innovative partnerships between the government and civil society. Both countries have partnered with communities and tailored their AIDS response to the specific needs of key populations at higher risk of HIV.

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George started using drugs more than 10 years ago. At the time he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and worked as a driver for an international company. About one third of people who inject drugs globally live in the Asia and the Pacific region.

As George’s dependence on drugs became severe, he lost his job and could no longer provide for his wife and young children. “All I could think about was where I would get my next hit. I lied. I stole. I hated myself,” recalled George.

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The Minister of Health of Nepal, Gagan Kumar Thapa stands ready to lead an HIV response that has the scope, scale, intensity, quality, speed and innovation to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in Nepal by 2030. He made this commitment during a meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia and in the Pacific, J.V.R. Prasada Rao, and the Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, Steve Kraus, who conducted an official mission to Kathmandu from 26-30 September. Read More

The intergovernmental organization commits to accelerated action and increased investment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030

BANGKOK, 20 September 2016—The Heads of State of the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have endorsed the ASEAN Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS: Fast-Tracking and Sustaining HIV and AIDS responses to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. This endorsement occurred during the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits which took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 6-8 September. Read More

Snapshots: Thailand’s teenage parents

Teenage pregnancy is a significant problem in Thailand, which has one of the highest rates in Southeast Asia. Emerging photographer ‘Gap’ Tanaphon Ongarttrakul followed the struggles of three teenage couples, who found themselves unexpected parents. His camera captures their struggles with overwhelming responsibilities. His photographic essay was shown for the first time at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok. The fine arts student at Rangsit University speaks with UNAIDS about what compelled him to take on this difficult topic.

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(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)

Lieu Anh Vu is the new Health and Innovation Strategist for Asia for Hornet, a gay dating application with a cause. The application with about fifteen million users has recently invested in a new bid to use the application to aid the HIV movement. On the occasion of the International Youth Day this year, UNAIDS speaks to an inspirational young gay man who has turned his passion for the greater good into a successful career.

UNAIDS: Please tell us a little bit about the work you do at Hornet. What made you decide to work with Hornet?

I mainly run interventions so that the gay community can use the app to know more about HIV testing and other HIV services. Gay men don’t meet new guys outside as much as they do online anymore, they don’t meet at bars or malls, people begin dating online. I have worked for HIV and Human Rights issues for a few years now, for different civil society organisations and also the UN. I realized that the online space has become very important to mobilize and reach LGBTI people. The opportunity came when I met the CEO of Hornet, we talked and I realized that I could use this app engage the gay community in an exciting and entertaining way while shedding light on HIV issues.

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