Reflections as an Intern at Asia Catalyst

Eli Binder was an intern with Asia Catalyst for the summer of 2014. He is now in his second year of the College Program at Bard High School Early College.

Asia Catalyst brings together representatives from Chinese community-based organizations (CBOs) in its year-long peer-driven capacity building program. These CBOs represent marginalized groups who experience unique challenges in obtaining the highest attainable standard of health, including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), LGBT groups, people who use drugs (PWUD) and sex workers. Over the course of a year, the reprsentatives of these CBOs learn how to effectively run an organization and conduct rights-based advocacy. In July, an external evaluator collected testimonials from alumni organizations about the most significant changes that were sparked by Asia Catalyst’s training.


Reflections from AIDS 2014

The 20th International AIDS Conference, “AIDS 2014”, was held in Melbourne from July 20th to 25th.

The theme of the Melbourne Declaration, which was drafted by the organizers of the AIDS 2014 conference, was “Nobody left behind.” The Declaration affirms that non-discrimination is fundamental to HIV response, and asks governments around the world to guarantee the equal rights of people at risk for HIV.

With the support of Asia Catalyst, I attended the conference alongside Ziyang Guo from Beijing Zuoyou Information Center and Tingting Shen, the Advocacy and Research Director from Asia Catalyst. As the organization I represent, SCMC, focuses on health rights issues for sex workers and LGBT people, I attended the sex worker and LGBT related sessions at AIDS 2014.


AIDS 2014: Transgender Sex Worker Research

This week at the International Aids Conference (IAC), Asia Catalyst presents preliminary findings from a joint research project on transgender sex workers conducted with two Chinese organizations, Beijing Zuoyou Information Center and Shanghai CSW & MSM Center.

Shanghai CSW (commercial sex worker) & MSM (men who have sex with men) Center (SCMC) was established in 2004 to focus on the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable sexual minorities in China. SCMC works to improve sexual minorities’ access to medical and legal services, and to improve the environment surrounding these vulnerable groups. As the secretariat of a sex workers network platform, SCMC also works in coalition with academic institutions, mass media, and other groups to improve public understanding of the discrimination faced by sex workers.


International AIDS Conference Poster

Asia Catalyst presents our research at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne this week. Our poster presentation outlines joint research on the Custody and Education system for female sex workers and clients in China, conducted alongside two of our community based partners.

Poster ICAP 6-15-page-001-thumb-650x433-369

We are excited to share with you the outline of this research. Too view the full poster, click here!

Asia Catalyst expresses condolences over tragic loss of MH17

Asia Catalyst today expresses deep sadness and profound sympathy over the tragic loss of all those on board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

Among those on the flight were colleagues, friends, and esteemed members of the international AIDS activism community, more than one hundred of whom were on their way to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, set to begin this Sunday.

Over the next week, and into the weeks, months, and years to come, these many familiar voices and guiding lights in the ongoing fight against the AIDS epidemic will be dearly missed. With all condolences in this sensitive time, Asia Catalyst stands in solidarity with the families, friends, and colleagues of all who have perished in this tragedy.