ADVOCACY February 22, 2019

Two new Ambassadors join APCOM team

APCOM is proud to announce two new ambassadors have joined the APCOM team to help us connect more effectively with the communities we serve and the partners we work with. Michael Bäk as the Private Sector Ambassador and Okkar Min Maung as the Community Ambassador.

Private Sector Ambassador

Michael Bäk

Michael Bäk is Facebook’s current Head of Public Policy in Thailand. Michael has worked across Asia for over 20 years, including senior roles with the UN and USAID. He also has an extensive background in LGBT health and human rights through his work with the B-Change Social Enterprise Group and the Being LGBTI In Asia programme. 

Michael says organisations like APCOM are vital to advancing the health and rights of LGBTI people and people affected by HV. “Asia is the fastest growing region of the world with economies creating endless opportunities for people and families around the region. We must make sure that LGBTI people and people with HIV aren’t left behind in these opportunities for growth, empowerment and love. We need to work hard to eliminate stigma, change laws, open hearts and minds, and ensure that LGBTI and people with HIV in Asia can realise their social, economic, and spiritual contributions.”

Community Ambassador

Okkar Min Maung

Okkar Min Maung is a high profile Myanmar singer, actor and model. Okkar has starred in over 40 films including Mynamar’s first LGBT themed film The Gemini (2016). He officially came out on Instagram last year. 

Okkar says he’s looking forward to helping APCOM reduce the impact of HIV on vulnerable people across the Asia Pacific region. “Misconceptions about and prejudice towards HIV/AIDS have been preventing people – especially the youth of Myanmar – to take standard precautions for disease prevention. With the evolution of medical technology, it’s no longer the end of the world for people who are HIV positive. They can still have a bright future with the help of medications and treatments.”

Michael and Okkar are the latest to join some of the Asia Pacific region’s leading HIV, health, rights and community advocates as APCOM Ambassadors including: Prasada Rao (former UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for the Asia Pacific region and former Indian Health Secretary); The Hon Michael Kirby (jurist, academic, former Australian High Court Justice and former UN Human Rights Council Commissioner); Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman (University of Malaya Dean of Medicine and Prof. of Infectious Diseases); and H.E, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (UNAIDS Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific and former President of Fiji).