UNAIDS launches new platform to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination in Asia and the Pacific – Global
Despite decades of advances in prevention and treatment, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and key populations is a persistent barrier to addressing the epidemic. To encourage innovative approaches to addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the region, UNAIDS has launched a new tool: the HIV Stigma and Discrimination Community of Practice: Asia and the Pacific region .
HIV-related stigma and discrimination have a significant impact on the health, lives and well-being of people living with or at risk of HIV, especially key populations. The Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 prioritized the realization of human rights and the elimination of stigma and discrimination by including new global goals to which United Nations Member States are committed. are committed to as part of the 2021 Political Declaration. Yet people living with HIV and key populations continue to face unfair treatment, rejection, abuse and even violence in a variety of settings, including in their communities, health systems, workplace, justice and education.
In Asia and the Pacific, which is the most populous region in the world, there were 6 million people living with HIV in 2021 and 86% of people living with HIV knew their status. In addition, among young people, almost all new HIV infections are among key populations (gay and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs) and their sexual partners who face many barriers in accessing HIV prevention and prevention. treatment benefits.
The online community of practice platform will collect and disseminate knowledge, experiences and innovative ideas and approaches to inform programs to reduce stigma and discrimination in the region.
“Relevant stakeholders working in the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific region are invited to join the interactive platform and engage on the issues,” said Taoufik Bakkali, UNAIDS Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. “Academics and researchers, communities of people living with or affected by HIV and key populations, representatives of government ministries and other relevant government agencies, and civil society groups working on the HIV response are all encouraged to join in and shape the conversation.
The initiative is expected to foster dialogue and collaboration among South-South stakeholders on interdisciplinary initiatives on program design and implementation, knowledge development and management on HIV-related stigma and discrimination and creation of opportunities for peer learning and exchange of good practices and lessons learned. .
“This platform provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to engage and shape responses to HIV-related stigma and discrimination while involving communities in the process,” noted APN+ Program Manager Harry Prabowo. . “This is an opportunity to link science and evidence with innovative programming.”