Standing for Rights, Resources and Resilience: Asia Pacific, the RRRAP Summit is a five-day event taking place at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel from 13 – 17 November.

It includes the three-day summit followed by two days of community seminars and strategic planning. The summit will also be preceded by the HERO Awards, a special fundraising gala honouring heroes of the Asia Pacific working tirelessly to tackle HIV/AIDS and advance the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Up to 300 HIV and community health and rights advocates from across Asia and the Pacific will attend the event which aims to help them recalibrate their strategies to tackle the region’s HIV epidemic, stigma and discrimination especially in relation to sexual and gender minorities. The RRRAP Summit is an initiative of APCOM, a leading regional HIV and LGBT community network which this year is marking ten years of service to the communities it works across Asia and the Pacific.

APCOM Regional Advisory Group Chair Dédé Oetomo says the five-day RRRAP agenda covers a broad range of issues that are critical to addressing the escalating HIV epidemic among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people.

“The three cross-cutting themes of the summit – rights, resources and resilience – form a valuable lens through which to view the challenges and opportunities which we need to address if we’re going to meet the UNAIDS target of ending HIV in our region by 2030, and also the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind,” Mr Oetomo says.

“With the support of various governments, development agencies, community organisations and event partners, we’ve curated an engaging program of over 40 sessions, workshops and forums that will foster tough but valuable discussions which will ultimately contribute to a comprehensive regional plan to help deliver a more effective response to the needs and priorities identified by the summit’s participants.”

APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana says the agenda covers some diverse territory.

“Countering the rise of conservative social and political forces in the region is a major theme, as is developing new and innovative funding models to address the shifting international aid agenda. Of course, there’s a broad focus on health issues related to HIV, MSM and transgender people, but there are also sessions dedicated to more specific issues such as drug use, sex work, young people, mental health and ageing,

we’ll also be presenting three comprehensive workshops focusing on research, advocacy and fundraising, and we’ll have a full day of regional and sub-regional caucuses to map out a new strategic plan that will help guide the work of APCOM and our partners in the years ahead. In terms of speakers and presenters, we’ll be releasing details closer to the event.”