On Friday 2 August Associate Professor Graham Brown, Associate Professor Adam Bourne and David O'Keeffe from the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS), in conjunction with the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), hosted a meeting titled: “How do we value the role of the community responses to HIV?” in Bangkok, Thailand.
As the HIV response adapts to the largest and most significant developments in HIV prevention in over 20 years, it is timely to investigate and articulate the diverse ways in which community organisations influence and impact the epidemic. The meeting brought together 27 participants from a range of key organisations in the community-led response to HIV in Asia. Building on the work of the W3 Project, the workshop aimed to discuss innovative means of evidencing the central role of community organisations at this critical juncture in the epidemic.
The meeting included attendees from several countries, including Australia, Bhutan, Laos, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste. Also represented were a variety of sectors within the global HIV response, including peer and community-led organisations, PLHIV groups, health service providers, researchers, funders, and government. The contribution of so many individuals helped shape a very lively and engaging discussion into how best community-led organisations can demonstrate their crucial role in an environment in which funding can be precarious.
This brief report summarises the rationale for the meeting, provides an overview of presentations made, offers a summary of group discussions and outlines potential avenues for further collaboration.