The WHO Regional Offices for the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific held a Consultation on HIV, STI and Other Health Needs of Transgender People in Asia and the Pacific from 11 to 13 September 2012 in Manila, Philippines. This consultation was the first of its kind in these WHO regions to address the unmet and emerging health needs of transgender people, using HIV and STI as an entry point.
The Consultation was the first time that transgender people engaged in discussions on equal terms with all other stakeholders developing policies and programmes on transgender issues in the Asia Pacific region and in the Middle East. It was also the first time a meeting included representation from different sectors of the transgender community (transgender men, transgender women, transgender youth, etc.).
Represented by ED Midnight Poonkasetwattana, APCOM attended the Consultation as a temporary adviser along with other experts and community advocates. The Consultation brought up the findings of several studies conducted by UNDP and WHO prior to the meeting. These studies aimed to understand the current knowledge on IDV, STI and sexual health of transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region. The transgender community was engaged since the inception of the study. The first consultation was during the APTN Board Meeting in December 2011, followed by several more dialogues with APTN, APCOM and other national and local transgender networks.