Last September, PrPARINGASIA consultation was held in Bangkok, Thailand. The first of its kind to be held in this region, the consultation was focused on rolling out Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for self identified gay men and other men who have sex with men in the region. 11 Youth Voices Count members took part in this consultation and actively engaged in advocating for meaningful participation of young gay men and young men who have sex with men in program development up to being beneficiaries.
A highlight during the consultation was the separate breakout session on young people, which was facilitated by Youth Voices Count. Young participants raised specific issues and opportunities related young MSM and rolling out of PrEP during this breakout session.
These are some of the thoughts of our members about PrEP turning a new page in the lives of young MSM.
“I now have a better understanding of PrEP and how it could be used as one of the best tools for HIV prevention among young MSM in the region. The consultation was a great opportunity to meet experts and other community activists to share knowledge and experience.” – Sarmad Ali, Pakistan
“The consultation gave me an opportunity to know more about PrEP and clarify the doubts I had. I am convinced that PrEP will be a game changer in the lives of young MSM in near future.” – Pema , Bhutan
“PrEP is new and also efficient. One thing is undeniable. Young people need to be a priority group for PrEP and they will play a key role in advocating and rolling out PrEP”- Doan Thanh Tung, Viet Nam
“It was an amazing opportunity to learn about PrEP and it’s efficacy as a complimentary HIV prevention option for gay men and MSM. It will be a revolutionary intervention, especially for young MSM, if made affordable (free of cost), accessible and available to them.” – Bharat, Nepal
“I am really glad that young people had a chance to raise their voices during the consultation. With the information I gathered I believe that PrEP is really a step forward into HIV prevention.” – Tashi , Bhutan
“Young MSM should be more involved as co-authors and co-producers of development projects and this consultation gave us an opportunity as young gay men to engage in developing a roll out plan for PrEP with our national programs. It is not only PrEP but also meaningful participation” – Reechy , Indonesia
“We all know that PrEP is effective. One thing that we all need to keep in mind is that HIV/STI testing and condom use need to be promoted explicitly while we talk about PrEP. Young MSM need be in the center since they will be the most potential users .” – Pratik, India
-Shared by YVC members , September 2015 –.