From 21-23 August 2013, APCOM, representing the voice of MSM community in Asia-Paficic region, attended “Regional Consultation on Improving Access To Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV among Men who have Sex with Men and Transgender People” hosted by UNDP and WHO SEARO in New Delhi, India.
The objectives of the regional consultation were to:
- Review the status of HIV prevention, care and treatment for MSM and transgender people in the Asia-Pacific region;
- Share country experiences on addressing stigma and discrimination against MSM and transgender people in health care settings;
- Discuss the WHO-UNDP Regional Health Sector Training Package for men who have sex with men and transgender people;
- Identify opportunities and constraints for implementation at country level; and
- Chart the way forward
The opportunity afforded by this consultation was also used to share and discuss the USAID/MEASURE monitoring and evaluation and programming guidelines.
In reviewing and discussing these items, the meeting helped participants understand HIV and STIs among MSM and transgender people in the context of the Asia-Pacific region, to share country experiences, and identify opportunities for implementation of the UNDP-WHO training package at the country level.
APCOM, represented by Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana, noted that HIV has affected MSM and transgender people in much greater proportions than the general population. New or just recognized epidemics amongst MSM and transgender people are identified in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America, with high and rapidly rising rates of HIV transmission reported in Asia and the Pacific. A coalition of MSM and transgender community organizations has been working on addressing HIV issues and ICAAP 11 in November 2013 is a good chance to showcase this work and to discuss what needs to be done next. APCOM will ensure MSM and transgender voices are heard at ICAAP through a pre-conference on 17 November that they will host to better prepare delegates for the main conference.