APCOM South Asia Strategic Information Advisors (ASASIA) was held for the second time on the 30th and 31st of June 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. Titled “Evidence to Action”, the overall objective of the meeting is to strengthen the strategic information and knowledge around MSM and transgender issues for stronger HIV and human rights response in South Asia region under the Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Programme (MSA), which neatly resonates with APCOM’s Strategic Goal #3 – to gather, generate & share strategic information.
Ongoing and expected strategic knowledge products of APCOM and the partnered agencies were presented to the Strategic Information Advisors, which consists of experts from diverse qualifications and sectors with relevant regionally applicable experience in policy, research, program development and organizational management in South Asia, to jointly explore mechanisms and avenues to further improve the quality and the dissemination of the knowledge products. Among the discussed strategic knowledge products were the upcoming advocacy video promoting youth-friendly HIV services, a guidance booklet to report SOGI-related guidance booklet to report SOGI-related human rights violation, the updates on Country Snapshots and Legal Environment Policy Briefs, the UNAIDS-APCOM’s “New MSM Framework” and UNDP’s joint MSA/Being LGBT in Asia‘s “Legal Gender Recognition Study.”
The meeting also focused on brainstorming research priorities for APCOM in the future. The necessity to bring the focus on the syndemics within the MSM community such as mental health issues, alcohol and drug abuse and taking a life course approach in understanding their impact on HIV vulnerabilities was emphasized. The importance of generating strategic information on related issues such as the intersection among MSM, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C was also brought out by the advisors.
Gender-based violence related to MSM and transgender people and realities of MSM and transgender people in disaster situations including contexts of internally dispersed persons due to war were also discussed as potential strategic information pointers for APCOM.
To inquire further regarding the above mentioned strategic knowledge, kindly contact APCOM’s Advocacy and Programme Unit Manager Shankar Silmula at ShankarS@apcom.org