Current situation in Asia relating to Chemsex and methamphetamine use in a time of COVID-19
Midnight, our Executive Director took part in a webinar on 5 June 2020 – COVID-19 and Harm Reduction Programme Implementation: Stimulants & non-injecting drug use organized by Médecins du Monde, International Network of People who Use Drugs, Harm Reduction International, European Network of People who Use Drugs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and World Health Organisation.
The webinar discusses COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound effect on the provision of health services across the globe and is further magnifying the existing barriers faced by people who use drugs in accessing harm reduction services. Programmes have had to adapt, and efforts are being made to enhance accessibility and ensure the continuity of harm reduction services in a context that is changing daily. But what does this look like in reality, and what practical measures can be put in place to ensure that people who use drugs continue to have access to essential services and support?
Midnight gave three country examples from the region, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam on how men who have sex with men who use stimulant drugs in a time of COVID-19, and barriers faced on access to health, and encourages a positive and proactive community-led response to bridge the knowledge and service gaps for men who have sex who use stimulant drugs during this time, and post-COVID-19.
APCOM would like to thank the following individuals for providing country information to the webinar:
Pakistan – Yasir Ali Khan, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer in GreenStar Social Marketing implementing partner of National Program of GFATM HIV/AIDS prevention in Pakistan as Sub-recipient.
Thailand – Bright (Thisanut Kaewnukul), Campaigns Officer in APCOM working on TestBKK which is supported by USAID Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project.
Vietnam – Doan Thanh Tung, Executive Director, Lighthouse Social Enterprise