HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men and transgender populations in South-East Asia

Published: October 1, 2010

An assessment of the current situation of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with
men (MSM) and transgender (TG) populations and the national responses was
undertaken by the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. The countries assessed
are Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand
and Timor-Leste.

Same-sex behaviour is identified in all societies, irrespective of whether same-sex
sexuality is openly acknowledged, not talked about, or actively denied. There are
an estimated 4–5 million men who have sex with men (MSM) in the South-East
Asia Region, while the number of those considered to be transgender (TG) is largely
unknown due to limited data. MSM and TG populations in most countries of the
Region are highly stigmatized, discriminated against, and often socially excluded.
As with other most-at-risk populations such as people who inject drugs and sex
workers, MSM and the TG populations in the Region are at high risk for HIV infection.
Access to prevention, treatment, care and support services is limited compared with
the share of the HIV burden borne by these vulnerable populations. This report
highlights the urgent need to ensure that prevention interventions, and treatment,
care and support services are put in place for MSM and TG populations.

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