APCOM’s commitment to build future leadershas been showcased through its continued support to youth-led organisation Youth Voices Count (YVC). During the 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, YVC conducted a session to explore the factors contributing to the low uptake of voluntary HIV testing and counseling services among young men who have sex with men and young transgender persons. The output of this session fed directly into YVC’s 3rd Regional Consultation under the theme “men who have sex with men and transgender youth friendly HIV testing programs”.
During the YVC regional consultation, 26 young men who have sex with men and young transgender women from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam, provided their insights, ideas, and recommendations for an ideal men who have sex with men and transgender youth friendly health service. The participants, whilst acknowledging the availability of HIV testing infrastructure in their countries, recognized that by and large these infrastructure. The barriers that prevent them accessing services were discussed in detail giving prompt attention to all their requirements and expectations when they access services. The ultimate goal of the consultation was to provide recommendations to increase service uptake among young men who have sex with men and young transgender persons. The output of the consultation also fed in to the formation of the advocacy agenda for YVC and one of the key advocacy goals of YVC is “Accessing services to save lives: increasing uptake of HIV prevention, testing and treatment programmes.”
Jumping Hurdles: Access To HIV Health Services for Young Men Who Have Sex with Men and Young Transgender Persons in Asia and the Pacific presents the barriers in accessing health services and the recommended elements of youth friendly services shared during the 3rd Regional Consultation. It is a part of YVC’s advocacy efforts targeting healthcare providers and governments in selected countries in the region. The discussion paper also strategically compliments the new WHO’s Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations by offering an insight into the specific needs of the populations lying at the intersection of being young and being sexually marginalized.