The International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) is the largest regional forum on HIV in the region. It takes place this year from 18-22 November in Bangkok.
The conference provides an opportunity to renew and re-energise the regional response to HIV. Anamaria Bejar, Associate Director (Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean) said “The Congress comes at a time when the Alliance is embarking on a new global strategy (HIV, health and rights: sustaining community action, 2013-2020) which has a sharp focus on sustaining the political response to HIV, as well as the financial viability of the community-based organisations, networks and groups, that together make up, or are allied with, the Alliance.
“The socio-economic landscape in Asia-Pacific continues to change dramatically. Resources for most-at-risk populations, whether from governments or international donors, are drying up. And yet these groups remain stigmatised, discriminated against and criminalised. The Congress provides an opportunity for the Alliance to challenge this direction of travel.”
Our participation at ICAAP 2013
Jet Riparip, the Alliance’s Regional Representative for the Asia region, has been part of the Congress organising committee. Our particular areas of focus at the Congress are:
- the need for middle-income countries to increase their domestic investment in the response
- the benefits and successes of Alliance harm reduction programming and the need for continued foreign aid investment in this critical prevention work. This includes highlighting the Support Don’t Punish campaign
- the success of Alliance programming around sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV integration
- the need for health systems to work with communities to move quickly to adopt the new WHO treatment guidelines.
Alliance Linking Organisation, KHANA from Cambodia, will co-host the Alliance booth in the Asia Pacific Village. It will feature a photo-gallery highlighting work in advocacy, prevention, treatment and care and support, including regional projects in harm reduction and SRHR and HIV integration.
The Thai National AIDS Foundation and the Alliance are coordinating the Asia-Pacific Village Café which will host the Community Dialogue Space and its sessions, under a grant from UNAIDS. It is co-sponsored by 7 Sisters.
* Linking Organisations in attendance at the Congress include the Humsafar Trust, India HIV/AIDS Alliance, KHANA (Cambodia), HASAB (Bangladesh), VMM (India), LEPRA (India), Malaysian AIDS Council, SCDI (Vietnam), Alliance Myanmar, MAMTA (India), AIDS Care China, Rumah Cemara (Indonesia). In addition, the following Alliance multi-country projects will be represented: Link Up on SRHR and HIV integration for young people populations and Asia Action on harm reduction advocacy.