Welcome to APCOM.
OVERVIEW Founded in 2007, we are a coalition of members – governments, UN partners, non-profits and community based organisations – from Asia and the Pacific. APCOM represent a diverse range of interests working together to advocate on, highlight and prioritise HIV issues that affect the lives of men who have sex with men (MSM)* and transgender people, including rights, health and well-being.
Improve male sexual health through increased investment, coverage and quality of sexual health services for our communities:
- Advocate for sexual health services
- Advocate for an enabling environment
- Gather, generate & share strategic information
- Build a cadre of advocates at all levels
“Men who have sex with men” (MSM) is an inclusive public health term used to define the sexual behaviours of males having sex with other males, regardless of gender identity, motivation for engaging in sex or identification with any or no particular ‘community’. The words ‘man’ and ‘sex’ are interpreted differently in diverse cultures and societies as well as by the individuals involved. As a result, the term MSM covers a large variety of settings and contexts in which male to male sex takes place.”
WHAT WE DO
APCOM performs a critical role of community liaison.
We review and track the degree of inclusion of MSM and HIV issues in the national AIDS plans for various countries. Further, we monitor the violation of MSM rights.
We work with MSM and HIV community networks and organisations by offering support and mentorship, and technical expertise. We also nurture and help grow supportive networks.
Finally, we advocate for qualitative research and extensive studies, which help policy makers and service providers in their work. As a community of excellence, we emphasise sharing data and insights to build capacity, knowledge and recognition.
We bring all of that together in our online resource centre called “The Source.” There you will find a wealth of searchable data and information related to HIV, MSM, transgender and related issues.
At our core, we are on a mission to shift attitudes and sensitise society to the needs of our diverse and vibrant community. Together, we are sharing knowledge and real-life stories that support and promote the sexual orientation and gender identity rights of MSM and transgender people.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in collaboration. We have faith in ideas. And we advocate for change. We are focused on creating a world where MSM and transgender people live life fully, free of stigma and discrimination, a world where everyone is treated equally.
We believe in sharing knowledge and experiences so that outcomes are stronger and impact is greater. Committed and passionate, we anchor our work in understanding and facts.
Most of all, we believe in equity, dignity and social justice.
HOW WE STARTED
In 2006, 380 people from 26 countries – government officials, policy-makers, donors, researchers, grassroots and community based organisations across Asia and the Pacific – convened in Delhi for an international consultation called Risks and Responsibilities. The goal?
Facilitate dialogue and learning that would enable more investment and effective strategies to address male sexual health related, in particular, to HIV. It also provided an opportunity to inform and develop strategic advocacy initiatives by discussing key policies related to these issues. The Consultation ended with participants calling for the formation of a regional alliance of civil society groups, HIV and AIDS organisations, MSM and transgender networks, along with international donor, development and government agencies. The mandate was clear: strongly advocate for activities that increase investment for rapid scale up of HIV prevention, care and support services for MSM populations across the region.
With initial funding and support from Hivos and UNAIDS Regional Support Team – Asia and the Pacific and under a fiscal arrangement with NFI (Naz Foundation International), the alliance was named the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM). We began operations at the first meeting of the Interim Governing Board of Directors on July 25, 2007.