Connecting Asia is APCOM’s regional consultation on ICT, HIV, MSM and getting to the 90-90-90 Targets, held from 14 to 16 June 2017 in Pullman G Hotel in Bangkok. Supported by United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) LINKAGES Project (managed by FHI360) and by UNAIDS, the consultation brings a group of leading experts from the ICT and HIV sectors to discuss how ICT can impove the uptake of innovative approaches to HIV programmes for gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
See the list of the speakers and the facilitators of the groundbreaking event below.
Esther Kissiedu is responsible for creating and overseeing the digital, mobile, and social media strategy for MTV Shuga; a mass-media behaviour change campaign, that focuses on educating young people about sexual and reproductive health. She has over 10 years experience in communication and media relations.
Bryan Choong is an Engagement Specialist at B-Change. As a trained counsellor, Bryan provides counselling and support to the LGBTQ individuals in Singapore. He also conducted professional training for social service, healthcare provider and corporate partners to raise the awareness of issues related to LGBTQ.
As an active member of the LGBTI community in Taiwan since university, Darien co-chaired the first gay pride in Taiwan which as now grown to be the largest such event in Asia. Subsequently his career has taken him to work with Manhunt in Taiwan which later acquired Asia’s #1 app for gay men, Jack’d, for which he then headed its marketing efforts for Asia. In this capacity he participates in key LGBTI events across the region. He was recently recruited by Hornet to lead its multi-faceted expansion efforts starting in the Taiwan market. Darien also represented Taiwan in Mr. Gay World 2013, using it as an opportunity to voice Taiwan’s LGBTI progress on the international stage. He has also been an active supporter of numerous smaller pride organizations through the Omomuki Foundation.
David Kuefler is skilled at engaging people to shift their opinions, actions and ideas. He is a talented left- and right-brain guy, with expertise that spans from strategic development and issues management to award-winning creative and design. He is a sought-after strategist with years of experience in the social, community, environmental and health areas. He works with a wide range of global clients to develop integrated stakeholder communications, social marketing, advocacy and cause marketing campaigns. With experience in corporate communications, brand building and cause marketing, along with his keen understanding of social issue campaigns and advocacy, David has developed innovative campaigns for private and public sector clients. His first project concerning HIV/AIDS – The Living Resource – was 28 years ago and catalogued the dying process in order to compile initial data among gay men infected.
Hailing from Indonesia, Dédé Oetomo has been actively involved in the pro-democracy movement and the HIV response for over 25 years. He is the Founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Gaya Nusantara Foundation, a community based organisation active in research and education in the areas of human rights, public awareness and politics as well as sexual health and well-being services for sexuality and gender diversity. Dédé is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Surabaya, University of Airlangga, and Widya Mandala Catholic University in Surabaya, Indonesia. Dédé is an internationally recognised scholar, educator and activist in areas of HIV and AIDS, research, training and advocacy. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) and of the Executive Committee of AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP). He received the Felipa de Sousa Award from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in 1998 and the Utopia Award for Pioneering Gay Work in Asia in 2001.
Dustin Nguyen is a video Jockey at MTV Vietnam. He is the host of the television series MTV BUS, which uses its platform to share HIV prevention and testing messaging to the Vietnamese community. Dustin has extensive experience working in the television and media industry as a VJ/MC, actor, model, and scriptwriter.
Edmund Settle is the regional Policy Advisor on HIV, Human Rights, Law and Sexual Diversity for UNDP in Bangkok, with a background in International Policy and modern Chinese history. He was based in China and has previously worked for China’s National Center for STD/ AIDS Control and Prevention (NCAIDS). Edmund later established and managed the China HIV/AIDS Information Network (CHAIN), an NGO specializing in AIDS information management.
Harry Prabowo currently works at the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (APNPLUS). Before joining APNPLUS in 2014, he was the National Program Manager of GWL-INA in Indonesia. Harry has also established Yayasan Intermedika Prana, a grassroot community organisation working to uphold the rights of MSM and male sex workers in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Lori Thorell supports the UNICEF East Asia Pacific Regional office (Bangkok) in providing technical assistance to Asia-Pacific countries for the implementation of sustainable ICT systems at scale (including eHealth, and mHealth) to improve measurable outcomes for children and adolescents, in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Health, child protection civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and system strengthening. Prior to joining UNICEF, Lori was the Director, Agency Information Systems, Commonwealth Office of Technology, Kentucky, USA. She also held positions for the Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon, Washington DC and Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Lab supporting IT for Medical supply, Logistics, Finance and Joint Operational Planning.
Dr. Mi is the Chief Medical Officer & VP of world’s second largest gay dating app BLUED. He is responsible for conducting scientific research and maintaining public-private-partnership in Blued. Prior to this position, Dr. Mi served as a senior research fellow in the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention to develop, implement and evaluate the national harm reduction programmes among MSM and drug users.
Kai Wang is currently the Monitoring & Evaluation officer of FHI 360 on the USAID-funded Control and Prevention Tuberculosis (CAP-TB) project in China. He has diverse and extending experience on both quantitative research and qualitative study, especially among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in HIV health intervention area.
Kane Race is Associate Professor of Gender & Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published widely on gay male responses to HIV in the context of antiretroviral therapy and, more recently, digital cuilture. He is the author of Pleasure Consuming Medicine: the queer politics of drugs (2009, Duke University Press) and Plastic Water: the social and material life of bottled water (with Gay Hawkins and Emily Potter, MIT Press, 2015). His forthcoming book, The Gay Science: intimate experiments with the problem of HIV (Routledge, 2018) examines how new technologies and scientific artifacts – such as antiretroviral therapy, digital hookup apps and research methods – mediate sexual encounters and shape the worlds and self-practices of men who have sex with men. Kane has recently commenced research on two projects funded by the Australian Research Council: Chemical Practices: a study of LGBT drug use and self-medication, and a collaborative project on safety, risk and wellbeing on digital dating apps.
Kiira Gustafson serves as HIV/TB Technical Advisor and co-Director of the TOP clinics for Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar. PSI’s innovative uses of social media have dramatically increased HIV case finding among high risk groups and hidden key populations in Myanmar. Before joining PSI, Kiira studied HIV risk among injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland, and worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to help the Royal Government of Cambodia implement their own response to the HIV and TB epidemics from Phnom Penh.
Dr. Kimberly Green is the HIV/TB Program Director & Chief of Party of USAID/PATH Healthy Markets Project, PATH Vietnam. Shas worked for more than twenty years in public health management, policy development and research. Since 2014, Dr. Green has led HIV/TB initiatives at PATH Vietnam including the pioneering USAID/PATH Healthy Markets project, leveraging innovation and partnerships to increase access to effective HIV prevention and 90-90-90.
Matt Avery received his masters in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. He is a health behavior and health communications specialist with more than 10 years of experience in HIV/AIDS prevention, behavior change communications, and intervention planning and implementation, and has worked with key populations including men who have sex with men, transgender women, male and female sex workers and people who inject drugs in countries across the Asia-Pacific region. As the regional Associate Director (Technical) for Global Health, Population and Nutrition for the FHI 360 Asia-Pacific Regional Office, Mr. Avery provides technical and strategic leadership for programming to improve service delivery, uptake and retention across the HIV cascade.
Having recently returned to Australia from Bangkok, Thailand, Matthew is the Principal Planner for the Engagement Strategies Unit at ACON. Along with a fantastic team of people, he leads the strategy and development of the multi award-winning campaign, Ending HIV, which seeks to virtually eliminate HIV in NSW by 2020. The campaign has spanned 3 years and is arguably ACON’s most successful HIV prevention initiative to date.
Michael Wacher is the Campaign Producer at ACON (AIDS Council of NSW), Australia. He has managed the production and implementation of ACON’s key HIV-prevention campaigns, specifically the ‘Ending HIV’ campaign, for the last three years.
Midnight has been APCOM’s Executive Director since May 2011. Before joining APCOM, Midnight worked for Purple Sky Network where he engaged with MSM and transgender communities in the Greater Mekong areas. He previously supported the implementation of HIV and human rights programmes in various countries throughout Asia and Eastern Europe as part of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. Midnight has Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia and completed his Masters in Globalisation and Development in 2009 at the School of Oriental and African Studies through the University of London. Midnight is a member of various advisory and steering committees, including the global IDAHOT committee and the Freedom House’s “Dignity for All”; as well as a civil society International Steering Committee member of the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund.
Working as APCOM’s Strategic Information Officer, Min Fuh has worked in HIV and rights advocacy in Australia and South-East Asia since 2007, when he started as a peer educator. Originally from Malaysia, Min Fuh was awarded the Chevening Scholarship by the UK Commonwealth Office to undertake a Masters of Law in Human Rights, graduating with an LL.M. from the University of London.
Previously with ACON in Sydney, he coordinated the Asian Programme, working with MSM Asian communities on HIV prevention, sexual health, and community capacity building. He was also the coordinator for the metropolitan Multicultural Gay Men’s Health Interagency, leading the research and campaign development arm of the partnership, pioneering a research as advocacy strategy and bilingual HIV campaigns. Prior to his career in community health, Min Fuh studied medicine at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where he focused on HIV/STI clinical medicine and public health.
Phal Sophat currently works for FHI360 as Prevention Innovation Advisor for MSM and transgender population in Cambodia under the flagship programme supported by USAID. Prior to that, Phal acted as the Executive Director for Men’s Health Social Services, an HIV/AIDS intervention initiative targeting men who have sex with men in Cambodia. Currently living in Phnom Penh, Phal has served in the army and has working experience on mental health topic.
Phu is the head of Agency at Google Thailand. He was previously the Southeast Asia managing director of demand-side platform TubeMogul and is a former member of the leadership council of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Truong has also worked at the BBC as regional VP, Commercial and Operations, and The Wall Street Journal, where he was director of international sales for a seven-year stint.
Rommell Legwes is the President of Pinoy Plus Advocacy Pilipinas. He is also acting as a program officer at PLHIV Response Center in Manila. Rommel is an advocate for HIV rights among migrants as and has been actively speaking on the topic in the previous International AIDS Conferences.
Ryan Figueiredo is APCOM’s Deputy Director, having worked in the non-profit sector since 2002 in over 14 countries. He is an alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Ryan has trained in demography from Oxford and in Clinical Trials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Prior to joining APCOM, Ryan was the South Asia Regional Specialist for Organisational Learning and Evaluation at the International Planned Parenthood Federation. He was on the Expert Advisory Committee of FP2020, the expert group of the Evidence Project and on IPPF’s Global Innovation Programme. He was also a founding member of IPPF’s Sexual Diversity Network.
Ronivin Garcia Pagtakhan is the CEO/President of LoveYourself and is currently a faculty member of Mapua Institute of Technology, Centro Escolar University, UP core-group review CENE LEARN and other national nursing board review centers around the Philippines. He was one of the 2011 MAPUA’s most outstanding professors.He is a DOH and PNAC certified HIV Counselor, Peer Educator and certified Trainer after his PNAC Training of Trainers certification.
Safir Soeparna is the Senior Communication Officer at APCOM. He has led numerous online campaigns including GAYOK BANGKOK webseries, “Without Fear” PrEP campaign and, most recently, #LoveStartsAtHome campaign that aims to encourage parents to accept and love their LGBT children.
Sonalini is currently a Health Specialist in ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department. She contributes to the implementation of the Operational Plan for Health 2015-2020 in close collaboration with other departments. She supports the implementation of ADBs Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Diseases Threats Trust Fund (RMTF) and ADB’s Regional Health Security Flagship programme. In that context, she supports the preparation, implementation and monitoring of strategies, and operational plans on regional health security, specifically regarding malaria, communicable diseases, regional public goods, and regional cooperation and integration on health issues.
As Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, Steve Kraus supports countries across the region in achieving the goals outlined in the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Mr Kraus served as UNAIDS Global Coordinator and Chief of the HIV/AIDS Branch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York where he strengthened linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV. Mr Kraus led UNFPA’s efforts on HIV prevention for women and girls, gender equality, comprehensive condom programming, adolescent sexual health and key affected populations.
Surang Janyam is the Founder and Director of Swing, a community-based organization which provides support for sex workers in Thailand.
Thomas Guadamuz is assistant professor of medical and health social sciences at Mahidol University. His research uses innovative technologies to understand the social determinants of health and to decrease health disparities among gender and sexual minorities in ASEAN. He has on-going research projects in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Netherlands, the United States, and Vietnam.