PRESS RELEASE 

Manila, 27 July 2018 — The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) pledged to fast-track the AIDS response in the cities, by signing a partnership agreement with UNAIDS to take actions and make investments which would contribute to reducing the number of new HIV infections in the country. The signing event took place on the fringe of the 66th General Assembly and Gala dinner for the LCP’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations on 27 July and brought together mayors and local representatives from 145 cities.

UNAIDS’ newly released report, Miles to go: closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices, shows that the annual new infections have more than doubled in the Philippines in the past seven years to an estimated 12,000 in 2017. With a 174% increase since 2010, the Philippines has become the country with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific. Cities and urban areas are particularly affected by HIV. Health authorities say that 70 cities, including the 17 cities in metro Manila, accounted for 80% of reported HIV cases in the country. Read More

Catch up on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex news and issues around Asia and the Pacific in this latest edition of Equal Eyes.

June 2018

HIV, Health, and WellnessPapua New Guinea published its first comprehensive survey on key populations, including trans people, sex workers, and gay men and other men who have sex with men. The survey, which showed that these groups often do not seek health care or get tested for HIV, will be used to create better HIV prevention and treatment services and policies.

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Cambodia’s HIV response over the past two decades has been highly successful and has led the country to be one of seven globally to achieve the 90-90-90 targets. The number of new HIV infections has fallen to approximately 654 in 2017, and Cambodia has the highest treatment coverage in the Asia and the Pacific region.

The success, while driven by the Government and civil society, has been heavily dependent on external financial and technical support. International investments amounted to 82% of financing for the HIV response in 2015. Analyses conducted in 2017 show that donor support is likely to continue to diminish in the coming years. Read More

Catch up on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex news and issues around Asia and the Pacific in this latest edition of Equal Eyes.

May 2018

From the UN: In Beijing, two UNAIDS ambassadors participated in an open dialogue with students at Peking University about the importance of combating discrimination to end the AIDS epidemic. Movie star and humanitarian, Huang Xiaoming, the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for China, reflected on what motivated him to become a UNAIDS Ambassador and why discrimination should end, stating that “it is important to be kind to everyone, it’s particularly important to keep our minds clear and objective, and to uphold justice and truth”. The First Lady of Panama, Lorena Castillo de Varela, UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America, urged students to integrate anti-discrimination into everyday actions:

“Just that smile, even though it might look very small to you, it can make another human being feel special, not discriminated or different.”

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Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

UNAIDS welcomes ESCAP’s theme topic of “inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Inequalities affect all socio-economic aspects of development and are key drivers of new HIV infections. UNAIDS works with the marginalized among us. Day-to-day we see the negative impact of inequalities on all aspects of their lives, and the increased vulnerabilities that push them further behind. We believe, however, that the HIV/AIDS response model can also be transformed into a pathfinder for addressing structural inequalities and vulnerabilities in many different fields.

When in September 2015 the world’s leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they pledged to leave no one behind. The agenda sets out a vision for sustainable development grounded in international human rights standards, to ensure healthy lives and build inclusive societies. It puts respect for equality and non-discrimination at the centre of its goals. Read More

At the young age of nine years old, Pawan was told by his doctor that he is HIV positive. He was left in the care of his uncle and his family after both of his parents died from AIDS-related illnesses. “My clothes and cutleries are often segregated, and they would often confine me in certain areas of the house,” Pawan said. “It was difficult because I faced discrimination from my family. I wanted to end my life.”

Pawan was among the 40 adolescents living with HIV who joined the TeenGen Leadership Programme on 3-7 May 2018 in Goa, India. A local NGO, Human Touch, hosted the workshop with support from UNAIDS India Office and Youth LEAD, a regional network of young key populations in Asia and the Pacific. TeenGen uses interactive games and activities that enable adolescents to participate proactively while at the same time building their knowledge, leadership and communication skills. Read More

Mawlamyine, 20 to 21 April 2018 – Innovative practices in implementing HIV programmes at the city-level were at the center of discussions during an ASEAN regional consultation meeting held in Mawlamyine, Myanmar. Some of the best practices cited were having same day diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV (PLHIV) to reduce loss to follow-up and creating a ‘one-stop’ shop approach that is targeted towards the need of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) people. Read More

Catch up on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex news and issues around Asia and the Pacific in this latest edition of Equal Eyes.

March 2018

HIV, Health, and Wellness: In Australia’s state of New South Wales, a PrEP trial was so successful in recruiting participants, that researchers petitioned the government to double enrollment. With higher participation, they announced that new HIV infections had declined by a third over the previous year. As of 1 April, Australia began offering PrEP through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to subsidize costs and make it more accessible outside of research trialsRead More