Who would have thought that a pandemic would continue on in 2021? And that emergency funding for vulnerable and marginalized communities would be more needed than ever? 2021 was as arduous as the year before and the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic made us pivot our work, drastically changing the way we work. Regardless, these changes gave us shared experiences that we can learn from and together we prevail!
We are expressing sincere gratitude to our valued community partners working to advance LGBTQI rights, health, and wellbeing across Asia and the Pacific region for entrusting your faith in APCOM. We are also giving value and deep gratitude to our dedicated and diverse staff. We also thank our supporters, donors, and volunteers. We can only get through this together, and we are counting on our collective effort to ensure we also build back better.
“… what APCOM has done, and does very well is its continued outreach to the community to form solidarity, to be ‘there’ when you need someone to talk to, and providing online platforms to share stories, challenges, insights and of course possibilities despite the adversity,”commented Bryan Choong, Chair of the APCOM Regional Advisory Group.
Entitled “Our Pandemic Journey: Looking Back as we Move Forward”, our 2021 Annual Update provides a comprehensive work of what a collective team and regional partnerships can do despite many challenges, including the continuation of the emergency fund #CoronaAPCOMpassion started by APCOM staff and our COVID-19 special newsletter series would also continue as communities share their stories on how the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has affected and impacted on their lives.
The Annual Update includes the following highlights:
- Working with nearly 60 regional and country organizations in the Asia Pacific in developing recommendations for the High-Level meeting Holding Governments Accountable for their Commitments to Ending AIDS
- LGBTQI social and economic inclusion, supported by Voice Global, working with the Asian Development Bank, and LGBTQI partners in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines.
- Nearly 70,000 condoms and lubricants are distributed by our HIV prevention packs through online and social media by testBKK, a flagship project of APCOM, supported by PEPFAR/USAID/EpiC.
- Weekly newsletter – 52 issues altogether distributed via our 11,000 members mailing list, including community stories from Asia and the Pacific on APCOM Special COVID-19 Newsletter Series: One Year On.
- Launch of the Get. PrEP. Done. Demand Generation Toolkit for community organizations looking for online strategies to generate demand for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among their communities.
- Organised our first fully online APCOM Symposium 2021, and HERO Awards event in November 2021, reaching nearly 51,000 views online.
- Facilitating, coordinating, and producing information and capacity-building tools to support key population communities across the 13 PEPFAR countries in the Asia Region for the PEPFAR COP/ROP 2021. APCOM, CBOs, and PEPFAR COP 2021: Recognising Opportunities, Forging Partnerships, Creating Meaningful Engagements
- Launch of testVTE in Laos, making it the 8th city to implement APCOM’s testXXX flagship campaign to encourage HIV testing among young gay men and other men who have sex with men, supported by the Global Fund through the Sustainability of HIV Services for Key Populations in Asia program.
Our online webinar series included:
- Opportunities for Integrating Sexualized Drug Users into HIV Program
- New PrEP Products for Asia Pacific: What Do We Need to Know?
- HIV Community Master Class
- APCOM x Twitter World AIDS Day Twitter space on Era of Digital Outreach
- Contextualizing U=U at Countries in Asia
“As APCOM celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2022, with new Regional Advisory Group members on board, and as we develop a new strategic plan, we know that the partnerships built so far are so crucial for us to find solutions together,”concluded Midnight, Executive Director of APCOM.