Youth advocates from 14 countries have called on governments and development partners in the Asia-Pacific region to adopt a comprehensive approach to addressing the high HIV risk now borne by young key populations. (Key populations are groups that are particularly vulnerable to HIV. They include men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers and transgender people.)
Held on October 20 and 21 in Bangkok, the 2nd Asia Pacific Youth Forum was co-organized by the Thailand Ministries of Public Health and Foreign Affairs, the UNAIDS Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and Youth LEAD. Among other priorities, delegates advocated for more youth leadership, equitable access to quality and youth-friendly healthcare services, stronger strategies to tackle stigma and discrimination and increased access to funding for youth-led and key population programming.
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… 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
Meet Pema Doji, a tour guide and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activist from Bhutan, which is perched on the Eastern edge of the Himalayan mountains. Pema describes himself as an introvert who’s idea of a perfect day is staying home, sipping a cup of tea and reading a really good book. He says he is socially awkward because of the bullying and discrimination that he experienced while growing up…. Read More
The international motor racing star, Dilantha Malagamuwa displayed a red ribbon on his car at the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Championship Final, which was held at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida, USA just prior to World AIDS Day on 1 December. The Sri Lankan champion also participated in “Test Today”, an event held in Colombo to mark the day and raise awareness around HIV testing.
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… Read More
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.