The International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) recognized APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana, along with other 149 individuals, who have influenced its mission, vision, and programmes over the 27,500-member association’s three-decade history. The “IAPAC 150” were announced at IAPAC’s 30th anniversary commemoration, which was held October 13, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The “IAPAC 150” are a diverse group of global health leaders, clinicians and researchers, public health specialists, and people living with HIV/AIDS and their advocates from within affected communities. Among them are the following remarkable six honoree hailing from Asia.
Midnight is one of the selective few community advocates in the list dominated by clinicians and researchers. Midnight has led APCOM in assembling breakthrough in community-led HIV response in Asia. Under his leadership, APCOM launched the region’s first and biggest PrEP roll-out dialogue, generated a new guide to effective HIV service programming for gay men and other men who have sex with men, provided capacity building workshops to hundreds of community advocates in South Asia, including Bhutan and Afghanistan, under Multi-country South Asia Global Fund HIV programme, and expanded regional city-based HIV testing campaign that’s initiated in Bangkok to few other big cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Hong Kong.
Janak Maniar (India)
Prof. Maniar is a consulting HIV physician at Department of HIV Medicine, Jaslok Hospital, Saiffee Hospital & Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai. An Honorary Professor Grant at Medical College Mumbai, Department of Dermatovenereology and HIV Medicine, Mr. Maniar established the first HIV research department in India at G.T. Hospital, Grant Medical College, Mumbai, as well as discovered India’s first HIV-2 infection back in December 1990.
Shinichi Oka (Japan)
Dr. Oka is currently a Director of AIDS Clinical Center (ACC), National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM), Tokyo, Japan. He has been involved in HIV treatment and clinical researches since 1986. More recently, he has collaborated with Asian countries to improve HIV treatment in Asia, especially in Vietnam and Mongolia.
Praphan Phanuphank (Thailand)
Dr. Praphan Phanuphak diagnosed the first three cases of HIV in Thailand in 1986. In 1989, he co-founded the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre (TRC-ARC), in which APCOM has often collaborated with. He is also a professor of medicine at Chulalongkorn University and a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategy and Policy Committee on HIV and the UNAIDS Scientific Advisory Committee.
Chhim Sarath (Cambodia)
Originated from Pnom Penh, Dr. Sarath is Asia Bureau Chief of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
Zunyou Wu (China)
Dr. Wu is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in UCLA Schools of Public Health, and Director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wu is also consultant for UNAIDS and WHO for global response to HIV/AIDS. He serves as the Program Director of the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center ICOHRTA AIDS/TB program in China. In 1995, Dr. Wu and his PhD advisor, Dr. Roger Detels, were the first to report on an HIV outbreak among commercial plasma donors, a report that uncovered a national disaster in blood trade and led to an immediate governmental response.
Cover photo caption: APCOM Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana (left) and IAPAC Director José Zuniga (right)