LGBT and HIV hero Ashok Row Kavi to receive special prize at Asia Pacific Community Service Awards

By November 1, 2017 Newsroom, Regional, Showcase

Bangkok, 27 Oct 2017: Ashok Row Kavi, one of Asia’s leading advocates for the health and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as well as people affected by HIV, has been named as the winner of a special accolade at the forthcoming HERO Awards fundraising gala in Bangkok.

Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards is a special gala fundraising event taking place at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel on Sunday 12 November which acknowledges outstanding service to the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific, and to the region’s LGBT communities.

Ashok Row Kavi will receive the Shivananda Khan Award for Extraordinary Achievement following a lifetime devoted to improving the lives of LGBT people and people affected by HIV across India specifically and throughout Asia more broadly. The award is named after the late Shivananda Khan, a pioneering hero of the Asia Pacific response to HIV and LGBT health/rights, and founder of regional HIV and LGBT community network APCOM.

Mr Row Kavi has spent over 40 years as a leading advocate for LGBT people and communities in India where he was a trailblazing activist during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, using his professional experience as a journalist to successfully foster India’s LGBT movement. He then went on to found and head up the Humsafar Trust, one of India’s leading HIV organisations dedicated to addressing the epidemic among vulnerable and marginalized communities. He has also played a key role in helping shape the Asia Pacific response to HIV and LGBT health/rights through significant contributions to many important regional dialogues and strategic initiatives.

Mr Row Kavi will join a diverse and inspirational mix of 21 people and organisations who have been selected as finalists in seven community-nominated categories, with each of the seven winners being awarded their prize before 300 Bangkok locals as well as visitors from across Asia and the Pacific. The HERO Awards is a special event that has been organised to coincide with the tenth anniversary commemorations of APCOM. The event will also raise much needed funds for APCOM’s vital work in relation to HIV and human rights.

APCOM Regional Advisory Group Chair Dede Oetomo says Mr Row Kavi is an exceptional figure in the region and a true hero of the LGBT community and the response to HIV.  “Ashok Row Kavi is a courageous and inspirational leader who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others in need. APCOM is proud to be recognizing his substantial achievements with this very well-deserved award.”

In addition to honouring the achievements of Mr Row Kavi and the 21 finalists, guests at the HERO Awards will enjoy a fabulous cocktail party with delicious canapes, quality wines and beers, and great live entertainment and DJs. There’ll also be an exciting silent auction where guests will be able to bid on their phones and grab themselves bargain holidays, international travel, 5-star accommodation, art and homewares as well as fine dining and entertainment packages. And then guests will be able to dance the night away at Maggie Choos, the official after party venue with HERO Awards ticket holders getting free entry to the venue all night.

The Awards are being supported by several other regional HIV and LGBT community networks including the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), the Asia Pacific Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS (APN+) and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association in Asia (ILGA Asia). UNAIDS is also supporting the event.

Sun 12 Nov 2017, 6:30pm – 11pm | Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel |

B3000 | US$90 (inclusive of all food, beverage and entertainment)

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