Friday 27 July 2012

HIV in Asia - Transforming the agenda for 2012 and beyond

Members of Alliance India before the
conference. Photo courtesy of AIDS 2012.
The HIV in Asia - Transforming the agenda for 2012 and beyond report into the effectiveness of HIV response in Asia was officially launched on Tuesday night at AIDS 2012. The report was co-commissioned by AusAID and UNAIDS.

Peter Godwin, one of the authors, explained that the report reviewed several countries across the region, and conducted over 100 interviews.

Key findings included the need to re-assess the model of the HIV response as it currently operates across much of Asia.

Godwin explained that the policy response is 'out of touch', with national investments often oriented to a  generalised epidemic, while the epidemics across the region are primarily concentrated.

He also highlighted how there is generally little political appetite to focus on key affected populations such as MSM.

Don Baxter, Co-Chair of the MSM Global Forum, commenting on the release of report, said that it provides very strong reasons for the donors currently active in the region to enhance their involvement, if the UN Declaration on HIV 2015  targets are to be reached.

There has been concern since at least 2008 about the HIV epidemic among MSM across Asia. With prevalence in Bangkok, for example, estimated to be around 40%, it is well time for external funders to commit unequivocally to providing the necessary funds so that MSM and transgender organisations are adequately resourced to be able to properly respond.

It is crucial that this report does not languish on the shelf. It is a call to action to all to ensure  funding for key affected populations, so we can reasonably say by ICAAP 2013 that we have made significant strides in addressing the needs of those in most need.

Download 'HIV in Asia - Transforming the agenda for 2012 and beyond'

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