Let Your Voice Be Heard - Be The Change You Wish To See In This World

....Thus spoke Mr Myung Hwan Cho, Congress Chair of the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (10th ICAAP) which is being convened in Busan, South Korea from 26th to 30th August, 2011. ICAAP, the largest HIV/AIDS Forum in Asia Pacific Region, is a biennial gathering for the release and discussion of scientific, programmatic and policy developments in the global response to the issues of HIV/AIDS.

This year’s theme of the Congress is “Diverse Voices, United Action.”  HIV/AIDS epidemic is not only deemed as a health issue but also a political, social and economic one. So any deliberations on it should be able to accommodate the different and changing needs by accepting and working with voices from everyone and anyone. 10th ICAAP is a platform where, by sharing knowledge and experience, we hope to work forward together to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) is engaged actively at ICAAP 10 by setting the pace for MSM (Males having sex with males) Research for Asia and the Pacific at the Congress. Building on from the successful 200 Forum at the 9th ICAAP in Bali, Indonesia, APCOM will be hosting a day-long pre-conference meeting on the 25th August, 2011: Beyond Numbers - Getting to Zero: The forces driving HIV among MSM and transgender people in Asia Pacific.

The meeting promises to be a vibrant interactive platform for exchanging information and strengthening partnerships between APCOM coalition members, which includes community members from all 10 APCOM sub-regions/regional groups, and those from the government sector, donors, technical experts and the United Nations system. The meeting is designed to ensure that the most pressing issues at national and sub-regional levels are well covered by the key themes to be explored.

The material covered will build on work from the most recent APCOM-involved regional and global initiatives (held in Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China during the past one year), that have specifically looked at factors affecting HIV among MSM and transgender people, and others, in Asia Pacific region.

The joint community plenary will have sessions for each key affected population. The presentations at the APCOM MSM meeting will deliberate upon HIV issues related to the risks and vulnerabilities of MSM and transgender people in the Asia Pacific region, as well as universal health access for MSM and transgender people. It would also discuss follow up and progress on the Global Commission on HIV. 

Thematic issues will focus upon faith, sexual diversity and access to health; reducing stigma and discrimination in health settings; transgender health and use of technology for targeted interventions including social networking.

Thus APCOM would set the tone of the Congress in keeping with the thoughts of Mr Myung Hwan, Congress Chair ICAAP10, who avows,“I am committed to offer a platform where different voices from diverse counterparts across Asia and the Pacific could be reassembled to deliver a united action. The theme of ICAAP 10 deliberates our commitment to address and overcome the many challenges of HIV / AIDS in the region. Our commitments to participate and devoted supports are the precursor to the future of the HIV / AIDS epidemic.”