2018 marked a year of consolidation for APCOM across a range of initiatives and objectives. One of the most important was the development and launch of TENACITY, our Strategic Framework for 2018-2020. This vital organisational framework will guide our work over the next few years and commits APCOM to taking a bold, ambitious and tenacious approach to building a more effective response to the health and rights of gay men, other men who have sex with men and LGBTI people across Asia and the Pacific.
What we want to help achieve by 2020 and beyond is a scaled up and sustainable HIV response for men who have sex with men, improved human rights for LGBTI people, and strong HIV and LGBTI community organisations across the region. This is the vision that underpins our strategy and informs the action that we’ll take to help ensure that the people and communities we serve don’t get left behind in relation to the global agenda for ending HIV and delivering sustainable development.
The action we undertook over the course of 2018 clearly illustrates how the work of APCOM is contributing to the realisation of our broader strategic goals. For example, in relation to improving the regional response to HIV, our TestXXX initiatives provided innovative HIV prevention education for young gay men in five Asian countries; our gay youth health survey helped gather critical data to improve HIV prevention initiatives targeting young gay men in the Greater Mekong region; and our PrEPMAP website helped increase awareness of HIV prevention treatment PrEP across the region.
In relation to improving human rights for LGBTI people, our involvement in the Pride In The Humanitarian System conference helped advance the inclusion of LGBTI people in humanitarian responses to conflicts and natural disasters; and our Marriage Equality Strategy Meeting helped advance the campaign for same-sex marriage in 8 countries across Asia. We also launched the Finance Inc. project that aims to is to contribute to improved access for LGBTI people to economic and social services specifically health, education and financial resources and services. It also aims to contribute to increased participation of LGBTI communities in the conversations aimed towards inclusion. In relation to fostering strong HIV and LGBTI community organisations across the region. Our SHIFT Knowledge Management Hub provided vital resources for HIV advocates in four key counties in Asia, and we showcased the value of community service through our production of our 2018 Asia Pacific HERO Awards.
These are just a few examples of the action that APCOM undertook in 2018 to make the difference we want to see in the world, and you can read more about these activities – as well as other organisational highlights – in this report. As always, we could not have achieved these important outcomes without the hard work and dedication of APCOM’s staff, advisory board, ambassadors, stakeholders and supporters and we thank all for their contributions and collaboration.
In 2019, we expect a tough year ahead due to changes in the funding landscape globally, and many of our projects are coming to an end – thus sustainability is very much on our mind. However, we shall remain resilient and look forward to the impact this collective effort will continue making as we seek equity, dignity and social justice for our communities across our region and throughout the world.