APCOM Thailand


The recent AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam provided a launchpad for two new major pieces of work from us: our new PrEP MAP digital hub and our new Strategic Framework 2018 – 2020.

PrEP MAP (www.prepmap.org) is a comprehensive guide to PrEP in Asia and the Pacific. The website contains the latest information about PrEP, how to access it in Asia and the Pacific and how community members across the region can help advocate for improved access to the drug. Read more…

TENACITY: leaving no one behind strategic framework 2018 – 2020 details APCOM’s vision for the people and communities we serve as well what outcomes APCOM will work towards achieving by 2020. It’s a valuable road map for focusing our work over the next two years as well as effectively communicating our strategic intent and approach as an organisation. Read more.

Both initiatives were well received at special launch events during the week-long conference from July 23 – 27. Our team members at the conference also participated in a broad range of sessions, events and activities A full schedule of our AIDS 2018 activities can be viewed at: www.apcom.org/aids2018

And you can check out all the photos on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/apcom

APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana said: “Our new Strategic Framework will be crucial in helping us work more effectively with our partners across the region over the next two years, while our PrEP MAP website will greatly assist efforts to scale up access to PrEP in our region. We were pleased to launch these two initiatives at AIDS 2018 and thank everyone who attended our launch events.

“We also used every opportunity during the conference to advocate around community funding and sustainability for our region. We’re now following up a range of potential opportunities in relation to this so we can secure appropriate investment and resources.”


Asia Pacific Strategic Priorities

One of the biggest concerns for the Asia Pacific region related to key populations being left behind in the HIV responses of countries that are transitioning out of international donor support, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines. The criminalization of homosexuality in many countries and its impact on the HIV response was also a key concern. Many delegates spoke of the need to take a less antagonistic and more pragmatic and nuanced approach with national governments and show how community-based responses can value add to health outcomes. The use of strategic information, research and evidence was consistently highlighted as essential to effective advocacy.


Implementing PrEP at scale was a major issue at AIDS 2018. Of particular interest, Thailand is scaling up PrEP among higher risk groups in high burden provinces. PrEP is now a core part of the combination prevention package in the national response to HIV. Thailand is in the process of including PrEP as part of the benefits package under the national universal healthcare system. Delegates from Vietnam also reported that PrEP scale-up is underway following a successful trial which began last year.

APCOM launched PrEPMAP website during the conference

Delegates from Africa highlighted the importance of educating policymakers, funders, government ministries and pharmaceutical companies about the benefits of scaling up PrEP access. Given the cost issues, they also suggested advocating for event driven use (intermittent dosing) rather than ongoing use which can be cost prohibitive for many governments.


There was a lot of discussion about the absence of disaggregated data at the country level. This was highlighted during an Asia-Pacific session hosted by UNAIDS. There was support for community-led initiatives in gathering disaggregated data – in partnership with other stakeholders – that will support national programming/complement or supplement IBBS or IHBSS.

APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana and members of the HIV Testing Services Technical Working Group

Some data sets that were identified as being needed are disaggregation by key population, access to testing, access to treatment, drug use and access to harm reduction programs.

HIV Financing

A key theme around HIV financing was that HIV program investment should target the most affected communities among key populations, and that investments should include core funding for community organisations, not just programmatic interventions.

APCOM session on HIV financing in the conference

There was also discussion of the value of collaborative multi-stakeholder engagement, the role of strategic information/research as the cornerstone of advocacy, and the value of community ownership/self-determination in tackling a technical sector such as health financing.


There was considerable discussion about sustainability issues for community organisations. Key population groups highlighted the need to be able to access core funding and there were calls in a range of sessions for international development agencies to increase investment in civil society and community-based organisations.

Young People

The presence and participation of young people was strong throughout AIDS2018, from the global village, to Youth HQ, to the enormous number of presentations and posters by young researchers and community advocates. New HIV infections are rising in young people in many countries in the region. Foci included innovations in HIV service delivery for young key populations to ground breaking programs and campaigns by and for young people. Prince Harry reinforced the role of young people in ending the HIV epidemic, and the importance of empowering young advocates and organisations.

APCOM Updates


Research conducted by us on HIV self-testing and voluntary assisted partner notification in Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand can now be quickly accessed through a new World Health Organisation app. The research focuses on the values and preferences on HIV self-testing and voluntary assisted partner notification among MSM and transgender people. The research is a supplement to the WHO Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Testing Services (HTS) which are now accessible on a new WHO app. Called WHO HTS Info, the app makes it easy for people involved with HIV service provision, research, policy or product development to view WHO guidance on HIV testing. We also promoted this research at the recent AIDS 2018 Conferene.

Read more…


We recently launched a new education video about ‘allocative efficiency’, a key economic concept for HIV advocates seeking HIV programme investment from their respective national governments. The video is product of our Sustainable HIV Financing In Transition (SHIFT) project which aims to help improve HIV financing in countries whose economic development is limiting their eligibility for international aid, including Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand. We also supported a range of activities to promote SHIFT at the recent AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam. This included releasing a National Situation Assessment on HIV Financing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, as well as a range of case studies examining specific HIV financing issues in each country.

Watch the video…


At the recent AIDS 2018 conference we also launched a series of new reports that we’ve produced which summarise the progress being made in response to the impact of HIV in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We’ve also produced a discussion paper on the landscape of HIV service delivery for MSM and transgender people in Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The reports are products of our Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Programme, a community systems strengthening initiative aimed at reducing the impact of HIV on MSM and transgender people in South Asia by building the knowledge and skills of local HIV and community health workers.

Read more…

Everyday Hero


Our HERO Awards fundraising gala is set to become an annual event following the success of our inaugural HERO Awards last year. Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards acknowledges outstanding HIV and LGBT advocates and allies from across Asia and the Pacific. Full details will be announced early next month when the call for nominations opens. However we can confirm that this fabulously fun and inspirational event will be held in Bangkok in late November in an historic venue in the heart of the city. A range of corporate, community and international partners are supporting the event. So start thinking about which HIV and LGBT heroes you’d like to nominate and stay tuned for more exciting HERO news!

Regional News

Work at APCOM

To view any of these opportunities, please visit our Work With Us page on the APCOM website.

  • Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Officer
  • Consultant to Write Abstract and Article to Peer-Reviewed Publication derived from testBKK’s Design and Implementation.
  • Bangkok-based Social Change Creative Agency to Research, Identify, Develop and Produce Short Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video(s) to Educate Young Gay Men in Thailand on How to Minimise the Harm when Engaging in Chemsex
  • Senior Programmes Officer
  • A Consultancy Assignment on Consolidation of National Cost of Criminalisation Studies

Help Us Out

HIV is threatening to escalate significantly among gay men and other men who have sex with men across Asia and the Pacific. By 2020 this population is set to account for the majority of the 300,000 new transmissions which researchers expect to occur annually across the region. Finding the resources that can help address this situation takes a great deal of hard work, dedication, and persistence. Connecting with people and organisations which can provide this support is an important aspect of APCOM”s work (see lead story). Through raising awareness and advocating for investment, we’re making a real difference in lives of vulnerable people and communities across Asia and the Pacific. But we could do more. By making a donation from as little as US$10 a month, you can help us help others.

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