A social networking site for HIV-positive gay men and transgender people living in Asia is set to launch in mid-2010.
PositiveVoices.net will allow people living with HIV to share their experience with others who understand the issues, to build up support, break down isolation and reduce the stigma many positive people in the region face.
The initiative is the brainchild of well-established Hong Kong-based LGBT community website Fridae.com.
Fridae.com CEO Dr Stuart Koe said the new site will give HIV-positive people a safe way to connect with other people while maintaining privacy.
“PositiveVoices.net has the potential to transform lives simply by allowing them to tap into the shared wisdom and communal knowledge on living with HIV,” Koe said. “You are no longer alone.”
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations International Program spokesman David Traynor said he’s hopeful the site will empower people living with HIV across Asia.
“There is a renewed effort to address the needs of gay men, men-who-have-sex-with-men and transgender people in relation to HIV/AIDS throughout the region,” Traynor said.
“PositiveVoices.Net can play a significant role as part of a comprehensive mix of services for this community.”
The project has been funded with the support of AFAO, the Levi Strauss Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.
PositiveVoices.net will work in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS and several other HIV support organisations.
The site will be launched in English, Chinese and Thai, with other languages to follow.
HIV rates across Asia have been steadily rising, especially in gay male and MSM populations. Bangkok has shown a 30 percent HIV prevalence rate in the ‘at-risk’ MSM group, with 3 to 4 percent in Singapore and Hong Kong and 1 percent in Manila.
info: Visit www.positivevoices.net