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These reports are posted as a service of the 9th ICAAP Media Centre and may or may not reflect the opinions of the 9th ICAAP Local Organising Committee.For further information, please contact the relevant organisation that has released the press/media statement. Thank you.


Tuesday 10 August, 2009

More civil society participation to effect policy change sought
By Miguel dela Rama

BALI, Indonesia, Aug. 10 – United Nations Special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Nafis Sadik, has called on civil society to step up all efforts to curtail HIV/ AIDS and effect policy change.

In a forum on Redefining AIDS in Asia: Community Perspectives, she said that civil society has a tremendous role in responding to HIV and AIDS in Asia.

“You can influence leaders to make policy work in your area and make universal access achievable for all,” she said...

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Youth Voice Lacking in Decision Making Levels
By Nancy Lagdom

Youth voice is lacking when it comes to decision-making at the political level. There is the need to involve youth from the lowest level to the highest levels of decision-making so that they have a say for the betterment of their lives in the future.

This was the clear message in the Progressive Youth Initiative Oral Abstract presentation at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) at the Bali International Convention Centre.

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Tuesday 11 August, 2009

Program Changing the Lives of Women Living with HIV in Vietnam

By Nancy Lagdom

Especially when it comes to HIV and AIDs, specific populations are sometimes discriminated against, or their human rights abused, because of social situations, cultures or norms and ideas within communities. In most cases, the community blames these groups of people, and identifies them as problematic. This causes them to become marginalized.

There is, however, the need to identify these marginalized groups and work with them. These marginalized groups are sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and women and men who are living with HIV and AIDS. The Oral Abstract on Specific Populations and Who is Doing What at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, brought together a range of speakers from the region to share what they have been doing and to strengthen and empower others as well.

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Experiences in Clinical Sciences

By Yumnam Rupachandra

The Clinical Science Oral presentation session on Tuesday, saw six presentations from six different countries. The session was co-chaired by Dr N.M. Samuel and Dr Budi Utomo. The session was well attended with several medical practitioners taking keen a interest in  the presentations.

Ngin Sopheak from Combodia spoke on very early diagnosis of HIV infection in new-borns from day  0 to day 3.  Next to address the session was Dr Tsuchiya Naho of Thailand on the issue of opportunistic infections before and after the national antiretroviral program in northern Thailand.

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Protecting Patients, Providers and the Public transmission of HIV, TB and other infection in Health care setting

By Yumnam Rupachandra

Washing one’s hands remains the best and cheapest prevention method was the message that came out of the Satellite meeting on Protecting Patients, Providers and the Public Transmission of HIV, TB and other infections in health care settings. The session was held on the first working day of the 9th  International Congress on Aids in Asia Pacific, which is underway at Nusa Dua, Bali in Indonesia.

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Strengthening and Deepening Networks on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Asia/Pacific

By Gilda E. Guillermo

A Satellite Meeting on “Strengthening and Deepening Networks on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Asia/Pacific” was held at the Orchid Room on 11 August 2009, during the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

There were brief presentations by speakers, who stressed that issues of children infected and affected by HIV have not been put at the forefront of the response, as exemplified by the fact that there is no data on the number of children affected by HIV.

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Caring for children and families affected by HIV in Concentrated and Low Level Epidemic Government and Community Response that are Making a Difference
By Hameed ul Mehdi

The first speaker of the session was Anupama Rao Singh, regional Director UNICEF EAPRO. She gave an overview of how HIV affects children, and women in Asia and the Pacific Region. According to her, some 151,000 children are living with HIV. She emphasized that the human rights of people living with should be protected and respected.

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Thursday 12 August, 2009

HIV and AIDS and Young People 
By Sana Sohail

Pakistan is a low prevalence country for HIV and AIDS, with 96,000  of people living with HIV. However, for some groups, including young people, there is a high risk of infection.

Pakistan currently has the largest group of youth (ages 10 – 24) in its history, with nearly 54.2 million individuals. Concerns are that young people are deprived of sexual and reproductive health rights. Young women of all socio-economic status  often have restrictions on their mobility and independent actions starting at puberty, while for young men the world often expands after puberty as they gain autonomy, mobility, opportunity and responsibilities outside the home. So much freedom for young men, can make them  HIV and other STIs.

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STORY “ONE” : Delhi High Court decision-Talk of the town at ICAAP 9

STORY “TWO” : Men enjoying…… Women in danger

STORY “THREE” : Voice of the Unheard

By Jasvinder Sehgal

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Transgender and the risk of HIV
By Rina Hidayat

The lack of sexual education and knowledge and information about reproductive health, at school and in society, makes it very difficult for young transgender people, who can be abandoned by their families, and even their communities and schools.

Further complicating matters is the stigma suffered by transgender people, and religious mores that dictate that being transgender is “a sin.”

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By Ann Gie Santos

The topic "Transgender and the risk of HIV” was chaired by Rosalia Sciortina, . The panelists were Yuni Shara (Indonesia), Lukman Surahman (Indonesia), Jian Gang Zhao (China), Rajen Das (India), Utpal Chakraborty (India) and Faran Emmanuel (Pakistan).

Yuni Shara reported on KEBAYA, a pilot project on transgender people in Yogyakarta, which is a sort of an Islamic Boarding House with various activities supporting transgender people and their development. 

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By Aurora Lozada

The Total Abstinence Ideology versus the Harm Reduction Approach got my total attention during the oral session on Harm Reduction. This was stressed by Zakaria of Malaysia during her report on working hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to ensure success of harm reduction efforts, which can contribute to controlling the spread of HIV. The cause for today is to help one another to minimize, if not eradicate this deadly pandemic.

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UN envoy for HIV/AIDS urges Parliamentarians to fight the disease
By Miguel dela Rama

Bali, Indonesia 9th ICAAP (Aug. 12 ) – The special envoy of UN Secretary general for HIV/AIDS Dr. Nafis Sadik has urged leaders and parliamentarians around the globe to essentially do their part to curtail the spread of HIV/AIDs and promote gender equiality specially among women.

Speaking during the symposium on Parliamentary for Action and the 9th ICAAP, Dr. Sadik said HIV/AIDS death rates continue to climb but the most people at risk including million of wives at home have little access to information and services for HIV/AIDs prevention.

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Children Living with HIV in Asia

By Gilda E. Guillermo

An Oral Abstract Session on “Children Living with HIV in Asia: Challenges and the Response”, was held at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) on 12 August 2009 at 2:15-3:45 p.m., in Nusantara 1 of the Bali International Convention Centre (BICC).

Ms. Panida Thapanangkun, Theatre Director of the Theatre & Drama for Development Centre, spoke of their Arts as Alternative Therapy for Thai Children living with HIV, which covers the areas of Bangkok, Chiangrai, Khon Khan and Phetburi and reaching 1,000 children of elementary and secondary school age.

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AIDS cases double in East Timor
By Nancy Lagdom

Introducing male condoms and encouraging its usage among clients of sex workers in the East Timor is a great challenge. At the same time, cases of HIV have almost doubled between 2007 and 2008 from 46 cases to 96 cases in just twelve months. STIs are also prevalent while access to health service is very limited.

This was highlighted by Almerindo da Costa Cardoso of the Red Cross East Timor in the Oral Abstract on ‘Men at Risk’ today, at the Bali International Conventional Centre during the 9th International Congress on HIV and AIDS in Bali, Indonesia.

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Report on innovative partnerships between the Global Fund and the private sector, engagement to increasing capacity to implement programs at country Level

By Shazia Soni

The session started on time and more than 36 participants were present during the session.

Mr. Anthony Pramuslratana, the General Manager of the Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA) provided detailed information about the national program and said that there are 34 NGOs with 76 provincial labor and social work officers working on the issue.

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Towards Minimizing Harm

By Yumnam Rupachandra

Methadone Maintenance Therapy is working and can play a major role in responding to the HIV epidemic. However, clinics need to be more accessible. Methadone keeps injecting drug users (IDUs) clean, Abdul Rachim of Indonesia said. He was speaking on peer support group for methadone: a breakthrough in return of  confidence and completing therapy.

Yanni Meliandari Achmad, however, feels there was need for the methadone clinic and regular clinics to be integrated as drug users do not like to go to regular clinics for other services. “Regular clinics also do not like the drug users and consider them as non consistent,” Yanni said, based on her finding titled Integration of Opioid Substitution Therapy and HIV Care for injecting Drug Users: A cohort study.

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