The Asia Pacific region is truly at a critical moment in its response to HIV. One of the biggest and most immediate challenges is confronting the rapidly rising rates of infection among men who have sex with men and transgender people. This in a region already mired in long-running challenges from legal and social barriers that inhibit effective programming and resource allocation, and from deep-rooted stigma in health care settings. Urgent action is required. This new, ground-breaking report spells out not only these challenges but also provides recommendations for governments, civil society, development partners and the UN family to address these challenges swiftly and effectively.
“Legal environments, human rights and HIV responses among men who have sex with men and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific: An agenda for action” clearly documents how both punitive and protective laws, policies and practices impact comprehensive HIV responses. To support the findings and recommendations, the report maps out recent judicial, legislative and policy developments and community responses at the global, regional and national levels. Together, these findings demonstrate why it is necessary for stakeholders across the spectrum to adopt a rights-based approach to universal access and proactively address policy and legal barriers to effective HIV responses. Finally, the report recommends that each government, development partner and UN agency take bold and effective programmatic and policy measures to reach out to communities and individuals at risk, particularly those living with HIV.