As per the data of 2022, there are 300,000 new HIV infections in the Asia and the Pacific region and among them 26% accounts to young people (ages 15 to 24). In the six countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, the rate of new HIV infection among young people is over 40%. In the Asia and the Pacific region, HIV prevalence among young gay men and other men who have sex with men more than doubled in Indonesia (from 6% to 13% between 2011 and 2019) and almost tripled in Malaysia (from 6% to 15% between 2012 and 2022) and in Vietnam (from 3% to 11% between 2011 and 2022),
Young key populations are not receiving adequate access to services, due to the many social and structural barriers that they face: from criminalisation, stigma and discrimination and limited availability of youth-friendly solutions. Social taboos and stigma related to sex and sexuality also leads to young people being deprived of critical information and services to protect themselves.
Despite this, many young people are using their voices in social media to encourage their peers to access sexual health services and de-stigmatizing the “taboo” issues.
Therefore, to commemorate this year’s International Sexual Health Day, Youth Voices Count, Inc. and APCOM come together with the campaign called #dontbeshy.