Zhao Zheng, known to his friends and coworkers as Xiao Bao, has been working in HIV and STI prevention since 2004. In 2008 he was conferred the title of Youth Ambassador for HIV Prevention by the Tianjin HIV and STI Prevention Coordinating Committee. At 26, he is the youngest of the activists Asia Catalyst is supporting to go to the International AIDS Conference this July.
Currently the program officer and coordinator for Tianjin Deep Blue Working Group (天津深蓝工作组), Xiao Bao is responsible for, among other things, program management, training, planning, research and evaluation. In 2008, Xiao Bao was appointed a Community Liaison to the China Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) Health Forum. In collaboration with the Institute of Sexuality and Sociology at Renmin University, he completed research to assess the size of the MSM population in Tianjin, and initiated the MSM Population Ethnic Research Survey in 2010.
In the run-up to this year's International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2012, Xiao Bao spoke to Asia Catalyst about his own work.
请向我们介绍一下你的工作？ Can you introduce your work for our readers?
Tianjin Deep Blue Working Group (or Tianjin Deep Blue) was originally founded by gay people and people living with HIV in 2004 as a nonprofit organization. The mission of Tianjin Deep Blue is to provide MSM, male sex workers, transgender people, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) with public interest services and practical research that will meet their needs. At the same time Tianjin Deep Blue is deeply committed to doing outreach, advocacy, providing resources, information, interventions, counseling services, testing and other kinds of technical support for community-based organizations.
We use the concept of "empowerment" as a guide, as we are deeply committed to community health and cultural development. Our work aims to end the social discrimination and prejudice against vulnerable groups and to promote the development of civil society.
How did you get involved in this work?
I started working at NGOs eight years ago; six of those years have been devoted to fighting HIV among LGBT people.
I have worked at Tianjin Deep Blue since 2004 as program officer and coordinator. My main responsibilities include program management and implementation, conference and training planning and coordinating, as well as administrative work, like drafting official documents and correspondence and so on.
In 2008 I was appointed as the Community Liaison to the China MSM Health Forum. I am mostly in charge of organizing research projects, editing resources, and financial management, as well as liaising between executive committee members, conference planning, and facilitating and coordinating meetings.
你还有什么话想告诉我们的读者？ Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? 2009年，利用"世艾日"期间社会对于受艾滋病影响者的关注，联合媒体、高校、科研机构等开展倡导，引起了广泛的关注和深远的影响。最终游说"全国人大代表"濮存昕，向中国人民代表大会提交了"反对感染者就业歧视"的人大提案。
In 2009, I took advantage of the attention given to people affected by HIV/AIDS around World AIDS Day (December 1st) to connect with media, universities, research institutes and so forth to do some advocacy work. We managed to get a lot of coverage and attention. Finally we were even able to lobby the famous actor and National People's Congress (NPC) representative Pu Cunxin to make a proposal to the NPC, 'Reducing Employment Discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.'