APCOM Executive Director delivers statement on Asia and the Pacific
Statement delivered by Midnight Poonkasetwattana
NGO Asia and the Pacific on Agenda item 4.1
Performance Reporting (UBRAF)
Thank you very much Chair.
I am delivering this intervention as NGO Asia and the Pacific.
We thank Member States, Cosponsors of the Joint Programme, and UNAIDS for recognising the important role and voice that the NGO Delegation brings to this unique Programme Coordinating Board.
We have seen the rise of HIV infections in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Timor-Leste.
We have seen an increase in AIDS-related deaths in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Timor-Leste.
We have seen that 99% of new HIV infections are among young key populations and their partners – with MSM accounting for 52%.
We need to scale up innovative interventions and differentiate HIV services across the continuum of prevention, treatment and care cascade.
However, pre-exposure prophylaxis scale up is woefully too slow to affect the course of the HIV epidemic: We’re only reaching an abysmal 3% PrEP users in 2022, and we need to programme long acting injectable PrEP in our region.
The Joint Programme is failing the gay men and other men who have sex with men in my region, particularly for the young generations.
We welcome Member States stepping in to try and fully fund the UBRAF, however there’s significant shortfalls to fully fund the Joint Programme.
In order to reach the 2025 target set within the 2021 Political Declaration on AIDS of US$ 29 billion – Asia and the Pacific region needs 32% of this resource.
As a gay man from the region, I ask why we are continually being left behind – and we demand equal and safe access to comprehensive HIV services, and end all forms of stigma, discrimination, criminalization and punitive laws against gay men and other men who have sex with men.
We must not leave out communities in Afghanistan and Myanmar due to the political situations.
Lastly, the Pacific Islands are often left behind in the response, and the civil society in the Pacific are disappointed that the UNAIDS Pacific Office will close at the end of August – as Australia mentioned yesterday, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are seeing a rise of HIV infections.