UNAIDS Asia-Pacific


Ekkarat Punyatara is a photographer for National Geographic Thailand and a freelance photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is currently working on a series of photographs titled “Till I Bloom” which documents the lives of transgender women in a new light. UNAIDS spoke to him about his project which has captured his attention for almost a decade. (The views and opinions expressed in interviews or commentaries are those of the interviewees and… Read More

Sharmila Nair designs and retails saris online. The literature graduate did not know much about the transgender community, but inspired by the Kerala Government in India’s zero discrimination policy towards transgender people, Sharmila decided to launch a collection of saris dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with transgender women as models. UNAIDS spoke to Sharmila about how fashion can promote social change. (The views and opinions expressed in… Read More

It’s a year since Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake which killed more than 8 000 people. The lesbian gay bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community  was particularly affected by the disaster. The Blue Diamond Society is dedicated to improving the sexual health, well-being and human rights of sexual minorities in Nepal and has about 218,000 members throughout the country. UNAIDS speaks to Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director of the Blue Diamond… Read More

(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) 31 March is International Day of Transgender Visibility, which celebrates the achievements of transgender people as well as raises awareness of the discrimination and challenges the community can face. Employment is an area where there is often discrimination, but there are increasing openings for… Read More

“I fell into sex work,” said “Soi” Phathranis Meekrua. “I was a hair stylist and many of my clients were sex workers. One day they invited me to come along and visit them in the street. I was approached by a customer and thought why not have sex.”

The sun is starting to dip low over the horizon as Prayune Sawangnam (Prayune) steps into the brightly decorated offices of the Sisters Foundation. The non-profit organization provides health, education and support services to the transgender community in Pattaya, a beach town located a two-hour drive from Bangkok. Ms Prayune with her neat bun and long flowing dress presents a commanding figure and is treated respectfully by the dozen other transgender women… Read More

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… Read More

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…. Read More