Following recommendations in the existing regional and recently launched WHO global guidance (2011), the Global Commission on HIV and the Law report HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health (2012)1 and the UNESCAP Resolution 66/10: Regional call for action to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Asia and the Pacific (2010) and meeting report of the Asia-Pacific Highlevel Intergovernmental Meeting on the Assessment of Progress Against Commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals (2012), UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) and WHO (SEARO and WPRO) jointly developed a training package focusing on skills training of health care providers for HIV/STI related services to MSM and transgender people, and the reduction of stigma in health care settings. This training package is being supported by UNDP under the ISEAN-Hivos Multi-country Global Fund Round 10 Programme in four countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste.
The development process involved input and guidance from a number of people experienced in the delivery of health care services for MSM and transgender people. The consultation brought together 36 informal experts from nine countries [China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor Leste], representing public, private and community-based sectors.
The general objective of the consultation was to strengthen HIV/STI prevention, care and treatment response for MSM and transgender people. A major focus of the Joint WHO/UNDP informal expert group consultation was to undertake a review of a draft training package, tentatively entitled “’The Time Has Come’ – Enhancing HIV, STI and other Sexual Health Services for MSM and Transgender People in Asia and the Pacific: A Training Package for Health Providers and for Reduction of Stigma in Healthcare Settings.” The training package was adapted from several sources including one recently developed for Research Triange Institute International (RTI) and piloted in the Middle East/North Africa and Central Asia regions. An initial pilot of the newly adapted training package was also conducted in the Philippines in July 2012. Additionally, pilot training courses will be conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste.
The consultation was asked to help identify potential partners because it will be impossible for the United Nations system to be the sole source of support of the rolling out of these training programmes. It was emphasized that potential partners should be vetted, among other things, in terms of the likelihood of whether they would remain committed over time. APCOM is mentioned as potential INGO/NGO/CBO institutions for key partnership. Read the meeting report to learn further.