Meet APCOM PrEP Experts

By July 24, 2021 Advocacy, Newsroom, Regional, Showcase

Meet APCOM PrEP Experts  

Nicky Suwandi 

Communications and Demand Generation Officer

Hi everyone, hope you’re staying well and safe.

I’m Nicky from Indonesia. At APCOM I am currently working on the Global Fund’s SKPA programme, generating demand for HIV and other health-related services to targeted key populations across Asia. PrEP accessibility is one of the programme’s focus, I provide technical assistance to country partners in Laos, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Sri Lanka; ensuring that the programme activities are based on the communities’ experiences and insights, and are tailored to meet their needs.

We know that advocating for condom use alone hasn’t worked, and providing different prevention choices for the community, in my opinion is so empowering, thus PrEP is on top of the list for effective combination prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM) in countries across Asia and the Pacific. I’m really hoping PrEP can be available soon for my community in Indonesia.

Since PrEP has not yet been adopted in Indonesia, I haven’t had the chance to take PrEP. However, now that I’m living in Bangkok, where PrEP is widely available and inexpensive, it’s now become an option for me. But I think now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not the right time for me to start. This is the longest time I have not been sexually active.

However, my engagement on PrEP issues started in 2019 when I participated in the MPact ITPC PrEP Demand-Generation Workshop held at Siem Reap, Cambodia. In the workshop, I teamed up with fellow Indonesian participant, Dr. Hendry Luis of Bali Peduli Foundation, to design a PrEP demand generation activity targeted at gay and bisexual men and transgender people. A successful proposal led to a seed fund for to develop, the first-ever PrEP specific campaign in Indonesia. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not properly rolled out.

And now, together with the APCOM team, and with technical support from WHO and UNAIDS, he developed the newly launched PrEP Demand Generation Toolkit in high hope that it will be useful for community organizations to increase awareness and generate demand for PrEP as one of the most powerful HIV prevention methods.

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