On 9 September, Thailand’s Gender Equality Act came into effect. It is a legal instrument that prevents discrimination on the basis of gender and is inclusive of lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT). Kath Khangpiboon is a member of the Thai Transgender Alliance for Human Rights (TGA). UNAIDS spoke with her about the significance of the new legal instrument.

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A photography exhibition, which shines the spotlight on the resilience of people living with HIV opened in Islamabad, Pakistan on 7 September. It is the first time that an exhibit in Pakistan has been dedicated to portraying the inspirational stories of people living with HIV and the goal is to help reduce stigma and discrimination. A Photo Story on People Living with HIV in Pakistan was produced in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the UNAIDS Country Office.

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Nineteen renowned Malaysian and Indonesian contemporary artists are exhibiting their work in an exhibition called ARTAID 15, which is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 21-31 August. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) and Segaris Art Center and aims to highlight the situation of women and children living with HIV in Malaysia. Led by two of Malaysia’s most acclaimed artists Ahmad Zakii Anwar and Jalaini Abu Hassan, the artists donated 23 original art pieces to be sold for the benefit of MAF’s treatment, care and support programmes.

Ahmad Zakii is a Trustee of MAF and has exhibited his work in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions across the globe. A giant of the Malaysian contemporary art scene, he is also a social activist and founded Life Zone, which runs community homes for people living with HIV. Jalaini Abu Hassan has held more than 20 solo exhibitions and his paintings reflect a Malaysian visual vernacular.

UNAIDS interviewed the artists about what inspired them to participate in the exhibition.

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“The Blue Diamond Society sprang into action a few days after the Nepal earthquake and organized a camp specifically for sexual and gender minorities.” Manisha Dhakal, Acting Executive Director of the Blue Diamond Society

August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, when we honour humanitarian workers. Manisha Dhakal is a Messenger of Humanity. Read more to find out why. Please share this post with #sharehumanity hashtag. Photographs are courtesy of Paula Bronstein for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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This week the Nepal government presented its first “O” passport to a transgender woman. Manisha Dhakal, the acting Executive Director of the Blue Diamond Society writes about what this landmark move means to her and other transgender people.

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To celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August, UNAIDS talked to Thaw Zin Aye, a youth leader from Myanmar who is based in Bangkok. Thaw works with Youth LEAD, a network in Asia and the Pacific that works on human rights issues and advocates for the rights and needs of young key populations.

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It’s International Youth Day on 12 August so UNAIDS sat down with Niluka Perera from Kandy, Sri Lanka. He is working in Bangkok, Thailand, as the project officer for Youth Voices Count, which is the first and only network of young men, who have sex with men and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific. Read More

The Myanmar Health Forum, which took place this week in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar ended with the adoption of a communiqué endorsing the goal of establishing universal health coverage (UHC) in Myanmar by 2030. The meeting was organized by Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and attended by 700 senior representatives from the Myanmar government, civil society, international development partners, academics, the private sector and health professionals. The communiqué outlined the requirements and commitments needed to achieve UHC.

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