APCOM COMMUNITY SUMMIT 2020: Programme Overview

By October 16, 2020 December 1st, 2020 Newsroom, Regional, Showcase


Rights, Resources, Resilience Asia-Pacific Community Conference
(RRRAP Con) 2020:

23 November: Pre-Conference (Online sessions)
24 – 25 November: Online and off-line

The RRRAP Con 2020 aims to provide a regional platform for key populations and LGBTQI community to discuss and share important innovations, updates and lessons learned on HIV and human rights work. As we are operating in a COVID-19 era, better coordination is needed among the community. The RRRAP Con 2020 also aims to enable community partners to effectively engage with national programs as well as scaling up the roles they play in the advocacy, design, implementation and monitoring. This is also an opportunity to discuss possible innovations in engaging various stakeholders and players in LGBTQI inclusion.

The conference, which adopts a hybrid of face-to-face and virtual engagements, follows from our Rights, Resources & Resilience in Asia-Pacific (RRRAP) Summit in 2017 that celebrated APCOM’s 10th anniversary. The RRRAP Summit covered a broad range of issues from the response to HIV, the health and rights of vulnerable communities, and investment into the community. Sadly, the lack of political will in Asia Pacific continues to undermine human rights situation: punitive legal environment is still in place, and lack of investment into the community. The RRRAP Con 2020 will also follow the community-led discussions organised by APCOM during the Pre-Conference Sessions of the International AIDS Conference 2020.

Thematic Areas and Planned Sessions

1. HIV Programming and HIV Services for key Populations

Sessions on Community-Led Mechanism / Community-Based Monitoring

These sessions discuss the community-based monitoring models introduced by APCOM which are currently being implemented in several countries which assess the accessibility, availability, affordability, and quality of HIV services. These sessions will also introduce a new community-led model which measures the level of investments towards key population, community systems strengthening and key population involvement on decision making processes in PEPFAR’s key population targeted programs both at the region and select countries.

Through these sessions, we are able to enable key populations and communities to define the scope of what a community-based monitoring look like, and provide steps to make these models sustainable at the country level. After these sessions, we are expected to produce a consensus from the community participants on the indicators that need to be measured to increase the level of investments and improve the quality of services for key populations.

These sessions are supported by ViiV Healthcare.

Sessions on community-led demand generation through social media platforms to increase uptake of HIV services

A good content should not only be engaging, but also trigger the person who views it to do something. It is no secret that audiences in the online world are always looking up to a quality content that is informative, interactive and creatively packaged. While creative content examples come in many shapes and forms, a good first-hand experience and effective storytelling will always be an interest to audiences everywhere. There are literally thousands of community stories currently not being heard. They should be profiled properly for the world to see and people could create tangible action points for a change. This session will involve professionals from the creative media fields to share their view of processes of constructing creative contents that produces a call to action. It will also allow key opinion leaders/ influencers from key populations to share their experience advocating for HIV services. In addition, speakers are expected to present the insights of narration building, story angle and code of ethics in creative contents. This session will be formatted as a panel discussion facilitated by a moderator. The panel’s speakers will consist of resource speakers from creative media fields and key opinion leaders/ influencers from key populations.

COVID-19 pandemic has impacted HIV service delivery at global level like never before. In a world where the term of “new normal” has been coined, we need to make adjustments to ensure programmes and interventions are properly being addressed, even with certain limitations. Demand generation for HIV services in the form of social marketing and online digital campaign are introduced not only to complement the existing HIV intervention programme, but also will contribute to increasing in HIV testing, treatment, care and support services and boosting other new innovative interventions.

APCOM is working with Twitter Southeast Asia to organise a session on maximizing Twitter as a platform for demand generation.

Sessions about the principles of “Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U)” and integrating it to HIV programming

APCOM, through EpiC Project, and in partnership with Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), organises a series of webinars about the principle and key messaging of ‘Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) for the communities in Asia-Pacific. With the theme “Understand. Communicate. Integrate,” the series of webinars aim to build a common understanding in the region about U=U, to learn how to communicate the key messages of U=U, and identify ways to integrate key messaging of U=U into national strategic plans to increase uptake of ART.

In partnership with Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) and with the support of Gilead, and International AIDS Society (IAS) Educational Fund, the U=U Session during the RRRAP Conference will culminate the series of webinars by drafting strategies of integrating the ‘U=U’ into national HIV programming. This session will highlight the importance of putting PLHIV into treatment as early as possible regardless of CD4 count, with the goal of suppressing the virus to prevent its further spread.

2. Diversity and Inclusion

The diversity and inclusion component of the RRRAP Community Summit is aimed to provide venues and opportunities for businesses and LGBTQI organizations to discuss inclusion in the private sector. 

Slated for November 25-27, 2020, it will be a mix of panels discussions and open space format. 

Sessions will tackle themes related to the human rights and business frameworks for LGBTQI inclusion; why LGBTQI inclusion is good for businesses; practices, challenges and opportunities of LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector, highlighting experiences in the Asia and the Pacific region and Thailand.

The sessions are envisioned to contribute to identifying entry points and strategies for increased LGBTQI inclusion in the private sector.

Target participants for the physical sessions are businesses, chambers of commerce, and LGBTQI organizations in Thailand. Meanwhile, businesses and LGBTQI organizations outside of Thailand can participate via an online platform. 

Partners for this component are VOICE Global and UNDP Thailand.

3. COVID-19 and HIV

Session on Differentiated Service Delivery

The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding restrictions caused interruptions in service delivery, at the same time, created barriers to key population’s access to needed HIV services including ART. CBOs in Asia-Pacific implemented innovative approaches in delivering services to the community to ensure there is continuity of service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for Differentiated Service Delivery (DSD) to expand and increase the access of HIV services, especially ART, to key populations and PLHIVs. Through DSD, community-based/-led service delivery will increase to reduce facility-based distribution of services. This workshop aims to establish a precedent on the need for DSD in Asia-Pacific, increase the understanding of CBOs about DSD, identify existing community models that can be adapted in other countries, and enable CBOs to define their roles in relation to HIV service delivery.

This session is supported by International AIDS Society Educational Fund.

Session on Thailand-focused COVID-19 and HIV programming

This online session will present preliminary results from a community-led data gathering initiative on the status of service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects to the quality of services. APCOM, through ViiV Healthcare Emergency grant, Atlantic Institute and the Equity Initiative COVID-19 Solidarity Grant, and Aidsfonds COVID Response Fund, is implementing a community-led data gathering via online survey with our community partners. This community-led activity, will ensure that all the participants are key populations and LGBTIQI community affected by COVID-19, most especially the PLHIV. Analysing the data and creating a comprehensive report that not only reports on the situation the affected group is facing but also, added suggestions and future guidelines for stakeholders for a more effective national program design.

The expected outcome is a comprehensive report that will inform  government, organizations and funders around the world on the effect of COVID-19 to key populations and LGBTQI community to the real needs of the community. This would also help inform all sectors to be more prepared for other emergencies and would handle the situation better from what is known from the research.

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