History of ASAP

ASAP emerged out of the first International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), Canberra in August 1990.
ASAP has an Executive Committee (ExCo) which is a guardian and overseer of ASAP. ASAP also has a Public Officer who is responsible for assuring that ASAP activities and elections respect and uphold integrity and commitment to constitution and Operating Guidelines. ASAP has elected President and Vice President of two-years tenure. They are volunteers like ExCo members. ASAP permanent Secretariat is in Bangkok, Thailand.
ASAP member organisations are found in countries throughout Asia and the Pacific region.

Founder of ASAP and First President

From Year 1990 to 1996

Professor John Dwyer AO, PhD, FRACP, Doc Uni (Hon) ACU
Immunologist and Emeritus Professor UNSW
Achievements:
ICAAP1 (Canberra, Australia)
ICAAP2 (New Delhi, India)
ICAAP3 (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
ICAAP4 (Manila, Philippines)

Past Presidents of ASAP

From Year 1996 to 2001

Dr. Roy Chan
Past President and Honorary member of ASAP
Founder and President of Action for AIDS Singapore (1988)
Regional Director of International Union against STI Asia Pacific Branch
Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, National University of Singapore
Achievements:
ICAAP5 (Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia)
ICAAP6 (Melbourne, Austalia)

From Year 2001 to 2005

Dennis Altman
Professor of Politics
Director of Institute for Human Security, LaTrobe University, Melbourne
Member of Governing Council of International AIDS Society (2004)
Board Member of Oxfam Australia
Achievement:
ICAAP7 (Kobe, Japan)

From Year 2005 to 2009

Myung-Hwan Cho
Professor, Dept. of Life Science
College of Science, Konkuk University, South Korea
Achievements:
ICAAP8 (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
ICAAP9 (Bali, Indonesia)

From Year 2009 to 2011

Zahid Hussein
President
Sustainable Resource Foundation (SuRF), Pakistan
Achievements:
ICAAP10 (Busan Republic of South Korea)

Vice Presidents

Marina Mahathir (From Year 2001 to 2005)
Dr Tasnim Azim (Bangladesh) (From Year 2005 to 2007)
Assoc: Professor Elizabeth Dax (Australia) (From Year 2007 to 2009)
Professor Sukhontha Kongsin (Thailand) (From Year 2009-2011)

Executive Committee Members

From Year 2001 to 2003

Anthony Pramuairatana (Thailand)
Carlos L Calica (Philippines)
Hiroshi Hasegawa (Japan)
Marina Mahathir (Malaysia)
Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
N M Samuel (India)
Oi Chu Lin (Hong Kong)
Roy Chan (Singapore)
Tasnim Azim (Bangladesh)
Werasit Sittitrai (Thailand)
Zhang Kong-Lai (China)

From Year 2003 to 2005

Anthony Pramuairatana (Thailand)
Anita Jowett (New Caledonia)
Carlos L Calica (Philippines)
Clement Malau (Papua New Guinea)
Dennis Altman (Australia)
Edward Cowley (New Zealand), (Member to 2004)
Hiroshi Hasegawa (Japan)
Kong-Lai Zhang (China), (Member to 2004)
Marina Mahathir (Malaysia)
Masahiro Kihara (Japan)
Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
Oi Chu Lin (Hong Kong)
Roy Chan (Singapore)
Takashi Kurimura (Japan)
Tasnim Azim (Bangladesh)
Zahid Hussein (Pakistan)
Zubairi Djoerban (Indonesia)

From Year 2005 to 2007

Dennis Altman (Australia)
Elizabeth Dax (Australia)
Kamanee Hapugalle (Sri Lanka)
Lok Prakash (India)
Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
Oi-Chu Lin (Hong Kong PRC)
Tasnim Azim (Bangladesh)
Zahid Hussein (Pakistan)

From Year 2007 to 2009

Abdullah Denovan (Indonesia)
Dennis Altman (Australia)
Elizabeth Dax (Australia)
Lok Prakash (India)
Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
Oi-Chu Lin (Hong Kong PRC)
Rachael Le Mesurier (New Zealand)
Roy Chan (Singapore)
Shiv Khare (Thailand)
Sukhontha Kongsin (Thailand)
Tasnim Azim (Bangladesh)
Zahid Hussein (Pakistan)

From Year 2009 to 2010

Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
Oi-Chu Lin (Hong Kong PRC)
Rachael Le Mesurier (New Zealand)
Roy Chan (Singapore)
Shiv Khare (Thailand)
Sukhontha Kongsin (Thailand)
Zahid Hussein (Pakistan)
Andrew Tan (Malaysia)
Chizuko Ikegami (Japan)
Mr Steve Kraus (UNAIDS Representative, Thailand)
Dr. Praphan Phanuphak (IAS Representative,Thailand)
J.V.R Prasada Rao (Pulbic Officer, India)

From Year 2010 to 2011

Myung-Hwan Cho (South Korea)
Oi-Chu Lin (Hong Kong PRC)
Roy Chan (Singapore)
Shiv Khare (Thailand)
Sukhontha Kongsin (Thailand)
Zahid Hussein (Pakistan)
Andrew Tan (Malaysia)
Chizuko Ikegami (Japan)
N.M. Samuel (India)
Shale Ahmed (Bangladesh)
Mr Steve Kraus (UNAIDS Representative, Thailand)
Dr. Praphan Phanuphak (IAS Representative,Thailand)
J.V.R Prasada Rao (Pulbic Officer, India)

Former UN Representative

Weerasit Sittitrai (WHO, then UNAIDS)
J.V.R Prasada Rao (UNAIDS Regional Director)

Former IAS Representative

N.M. Samuel (India)
Aikichi Iwamoto (Japan) (2007-2009)

Former Public Officer

John Dwyer (Australia)

Past Executive Directors

Mukul Sharma (year 2010)
Scott Hearnden (year 2003 to 2009)
Jacob Yeo (Executive Officer of year 2001 to 2007)

Former Supporting Team

Marina Mahathir (ICAAP9 Liasion person)
May Supattra Pisetpattanakul (Operation Manager from year 2008 to 2010)
Julie Hyejin Shin (Assistant to President and Finance Manager of year 2009)
Nicolette Chatelier Prugsamatz (EAFCC and Regional Coordinator from year 2010 to 2011)

The International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

(ICAAP) International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

Background

Over more than 20 years, the International Congress on AIDS in Asia Pacific (ICAAP) has emerged as an effective venue for AIDS activists, people living with HIV/AIDS, policy makers, government functionaries, academics, clinicians, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, International agencies to gather and take stock of their activities. International AIDS Congress have evolved from being largely academic and biomedical in orientation to major gatherings of all those involved in HIV/AIDS work, and central focus points for discussion around development in the epidemic.

There is a growing demand for using the congress to build political alliances and commitment by governments and the business community to the epidemic. ICAAP brings people from various backgrounds in Asia and the Pacific and other regions to meet, share knowledge, skills, ideas, research findings related to HIV and AIDS. ICAAP is organized by a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) under the leadership of the Government to enhance ownership and strengthen the positive impact on the host country once in every 2 years.

The Government of Bangladesh, PPD and the Civil Society Organisations along with the support of UNAIDS, Academic Institutions and Donors Located in Bangladesh have been working together for organizing this international event in Bangladesh. It is expected that more than 4 thousand participant from the worldwide will attend in this gathering.

Advocacy and Campaigns for the Removal of Travel Restrictions

There are many countries around the world that restrict the entry, residence and stay of foreigners who are HIV positive. These countries perpetuate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV by singling out HIV as a ‘dangerous disease’. While these restrictions are commonly referred to as “travel restrictions”, the effect these laws have on individuals and families is more serious than this term may imply.

People living with HIV often face barriers when they seek to enter other countries as visitors, immigrants, refugees, or for business. Entry regulations are distinguished in special regulations for tourist visas (short-term stays) or for residence visas, student visas and work permits (long-term stays more than 90 days). These barriers are discriminatory, and perpetuate and reinforce the stigma already faced by people living with HIV. Many states that enforce entry restrictions for people with HIV justify their policies wrongly for the purpose of protecting public health and the public purse. But there is no public health rationale for restricting liberty of movement or choice of residence on the grounds of HIV status.

AIDS society of Asia and the Pacific

ASAP is

An International Non-Governmental Organisation, committed to reduce the transmission and impact of HIV and AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Region.

  • Custodian of the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP)
  • An independent society of peak, national-level organisations from Asia and the Pacific region
  • Committed to encourage, promote and sustain coalition building, partnerships and alliances with regional Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Bodies
  • Involved in HV and AIDS policy development in the region
    Actively engaged in fostering public, private partnerships, advocacy and communication management efforts on major issues in HIV and AIDS
  • Deeply committed to equity in sexual and reproductive health, gender mainstreaming, serve GLBT interests and causes and effectively fight all discrimination against sex workers
  • Proud of its unflinching support to people living with HIV and AIDS on all fronts and has always encouraged and promoted GIPA principles.

Mission

ASAP is an independent non-governmental body of national research and advocacy organisations from Asia and the Pacific committed to reducing the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS. It aims to:

  • promote opportunities for the discussion of HIV/AIDS issues and the exchange of relevant information and technologies
  • influence HIV/AIDS policy development in the Asia and Pacific regions and awareness of the gravity of the regional epidemic internationally; and
  • work with different regional sectors and stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific towards collective advocacy efforts.

Aims and objectives

ASAP aims to reduce the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific region. ASAP’s specific objectives include:

  • promoting opportunities for the discussion of HIV/AIDS issues and the exchange of relevant information and technologies;
  • influencing HIV/AIDS policy development in the region;
  • raising awareness of the gravity of the regional HIV/AIDS epidemic at an international level; and
  • working with different regional sectors and stakeholders towards collective advocacy efforts.

Achievement of aims and objectives

The aims and objectives will be achieved by:

  • ensuring the continuation of regional conferences;
  • developing a non-governmental voice on policy and advocacy which is based on expert knowledge across both the region and different areas of expertise;
  • building better links between researchers and other people involved in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asia and the Pacific region;
  • helping to link national and regional HIV/AIDS organisations in Asia and the Pacific region;
  • acting as a bridge between HIV/AIDS organisations based in specific communities and more general HIV/AIDS organisations; and
  • doing anything else the Executive Committee considers necessary and/or desirable to achieve ASAP’s mission, aims and objectives.

Publications

ASAP promotes and stimulates opportunities for research, publication and communication. It publishes a quarterly newsletter that contains in-depth discussion on HIV and AIDS and offers the exchange of relevant information and technologies.