SOUTHEAST ASIA / AIDS CONGRESS ADVANCER

Preview Language:   Original
08-Aug-2009 00:04:11
The International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) opens in Bali, Indonesia on Sunday (9 August). Women are now getting infected faster than men in several Southeast Asian countries, where an estimated 1.6 million people are HIV-positive. UNIFEM

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STORY: SOUTHEAST ASIA / AIDS CONGRESS ADVANCER
TRT: 4:11
SOURCE: UNIFEM
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / VIETNAMESE / NATS

DATELINE: MARCH-APRIL 2009, BANGKOK, THAILAND / ANGELES CITY, THE PHILIPPINES / HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM / PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA / KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA


SHOTLIST:

MARCH 2009, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SOUTHEAST ASIA

1. Med shot, Pharozin walking on street with daughter
2. Med shot, Huyen riding her motorbike
3. Med shot, Kirenjit at dinner table dinner with family
4. Zoom out, Neri talking to group of sex workers
5. Close up, Huyen talking in phone
6. Med shot, Kiren talking to friend
7. Wide shot, Neri outside her Sari Sari store
8. Med shot, Susan in car

MARCH 2009, BANGKOK, THAILAND

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
”Despite their challenges, difficulties, sadness, problems, they’ve all risen and become leaders in one way or another, in their countries.”

MARCH 2009, ANGELES CITY, THE PHILIPPINES

10. Wide shot, Neri introducing Susan to sex worker friend
11. Med shot, Neri introducing Susan to sex worker friend
12. SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”Before we call this ”Social Hygene Clinic”, now we call it ”Reproductive Health and Wellness center.”
13. Zoom out, Neri demonstrates condom use for sex workers
14. Close up, female sex worker laughs
15. SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”They’re going to work at the bars. They are entertainers.”
16. Med shot, female sex workers outside bar
17. SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”We are in a small room and she tried to talk to me and she just said… all I understand is when she said that ”You have AIDS”. I said ”Why do you tell me I have AIDS? Why now? I am pregnant… I am pregnant three months…”.

MARCH 2009, Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM

18. Various shots, Huyen working in SPN+ office
19. SOUNDBITE (Vietnamese), Huynh Nhu Thanh Huyen (Huyen is 1st name), Coordinator, Southern Self-Support Groups Network of People Living with HIV (SPN+):
“At that time [when I was diagnosed with HIV] in Vietnam, as well as in Ho Chi Minh city, generally speaking there weren’t any medical services which were to help HIV Aids patients. There weren’t any voluntary blood test facilities. HIV was seen as terminal illness. HIV meant death. The city didn’t have preventative networks or resources to deal with HIV mothers who may pass the virus to her children. No information was available on HIV, no leaflets for the patients. Those who were HIV positive found it very difficult to cope and to have a life.”
20. Various shots, Huyen attending meeting in SPN+ office

MARCH 2009, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

21. Various shots, Pharozin working in her office.
22. Various shots, women sewing at “Positive Women of Hope” office
23. SOUNDBITE (English), Pheng Pharozin (Pharozin is 1st name), Coordinator, Cambodian Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (CCW):
”When they sell these products to customers, they can earn money to support this group, as well as support their family, especially women and children living with HIV/AIDS.”
24. Various shots, women sewing at “Positive Women of Hope” office

MARCH 2009, ANGELES CITY, THE PHILIPPINES

25. SOUNDBITE (English), Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
”I think that often we are defined just by our HIV status. Those of us who have got HIV, we talk out in public, we talk about the experience of living with HIV. I think it’s also important to look at what happened before that. Because so many of the women in this book are women one wouldn’t expect to have ended up being HIV positive. I know on a personal level when I speak out people are shocked, surprised, can’t belive the fact that I’ve been living with HIV for nearly twenty years.”
26. Med shot, female sex worker leading man towards bar

MARCH 2009, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

27. SOUNDBITE (English) Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
”Women who are living with HIV do tend to face more discrimination than men, beacause HIV is always associated with sex or drug use."

MARCH 2009, ANGELES CITY, THE PHILIPPINES

28. Med shot, female sex workers outside bar

MARCH 2009, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

29. SOUNDBITE (English) Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
"Although most women contract HIV through their long term partners or their husbands, people don’t realize that.”

APRIL 2009, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

30. Med shot, Kirenjit posing for picture with friends
31. SOUNDBITE (English), Kirenjit Kaur, Administrative Officer, Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO):
”The feeling was really very strong when I went for the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, in 2004, when there was over 20,000 people attending that conference. That was really when I felt that ‘Hey, I’m not alone’.”

MARCH 2009, Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM

32. Med shot, Huyen and her husband is tickiling Huyen’s son
33. Close up, Huyen’s husband kisses Huye’s son


STORYLINE:

The proportion of women among people living with HIV in Asia is on the rise. In 2007 almost a quarter of people living with HIV were women, according to the Commission AIDS in Asia.

An increasing number of them are overcoming enormous challenges to become leaders and advocates involved in the AIDS response.

“Diamonds”, a new book and documentary to be co-launched next week by UNIFEM traces the key moments in the lives of ten women and one girl, from diagnosis to the ways they overcame extraordinary obstacles to emerge as advocates for individuals living with HIV and powerful voices in the global dialogue on AIDS.

SOUNDBITE (English) Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
“Despite their challenges, difficulties, sadness, problems, they’ve all risen and become leaders in one way or another, in their countries.”

These women are determined to alter the status quo, improve HIV prevention and care, and reduce AIDS-related discrimination. Yet, these inspirational leaders often remain invisible, their contributions insufficiently acknowledged in the public sphere.

Like Neri. For the last five years who has worked as a peer educator of the Angeles City AIDS Council in the Philippines.

SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”Before we call this ”Social Hygene Clinic”, now we call it ”Reproductive
Health and Wellness center.”

Every day Neri conducts seminars and counsels patients with sexually transmitted infections. She says the girls coming to her center are mostly sex workers.

SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”They’re going to work at the bars. They are entertainers.”

That is also Neri’s own background. In 1994, she was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 18.

SOUNDBITE (English), Neri Eroles, Peer Educator, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center:
”We are in a small room and she tried to talk to me and she just said… all I understand is when she said that ”You have AIDS”. I said ”Why do you tell me I have AIDS? Why now? I am pregnant… I am pregnant three months…”.

Support for women living with HIV, and protection from discrimination for all people living with HIV are what Huyen works towards. In 2003, she became one of the first activists in the advocacy movement for the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in Vietnam.

SOUNDBITE (Vietnamese), Huynh Nhu Thanh Huyen (Huyen is 1st name), Coordinator, Southern Self-Support Groups Network of People Living with HIV (SPN+):
”At that time [when I was diagnosed with HIV] in Vietnam, as well as in Ho Chi Minh city, generally speaking there weren’t any medical services which were to help HIV Aids patients. There weren’t any voluntary blood test facilities. HIV was seen as terminal illness. HIV meant death. The city didn’t have preventative networks or resources to deal with HIV mothers who may pass the virus to her children. No information was available on HIV, no leaflets for the patients. Those who were HIV positive found it very difficult to cope and to have a life.”

Huyen and her colleagues continue to advocate for the right of people living with HIV, to reduce stigma and discrimination and to promote the prevention of HIV among the HIV positive community in the South of Vietnam. Huyen herself now focuses on advocacy for the comprehensive and qualified services for women living with HIV.

Making ends meet is one of the concerns. In this office of a group in Cambodia called “Positive Women of Hope”, women make bags to earn a little money.

SOUNDBITE (English), Pheng Pharozin (Pharozin is 1st name), Coordinator, Cambodian Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (CCW):
”When they sell these products to customers, they can earn money to support this group, as well as support their family, especially women and children living with HIV/AIDS.”

There are an estimated 1.6 million people living with HIV in Southeast Asia, according to UNAIDS/WHO. Of the estimated 440,000 people became newly infected in 2006, women constituted the greatest number of new infections in several countries.

In Cambodia new adult infections are thought to be roughly equally distributed between men and women.

The data from the Bureau of Epidemiology of Thailand showed that in 2007, 50 percent of new infections were women aged 15-19 years and the rate of female infections was twice higher than of male ones. Thailand mirrors the global trend; the proportion between men and women living with HIV is becoming narrower.

“Diamonds” author Susan Paxton stresses that even ‘regular women’ can get HIV.

SOUNDBITE (English), Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
”I think that often we are defined just by our HIV status. Those of us who have got HIV, we talk out in public, we talk about the experience of living with HIV. I think it’s also important to look at what happened before that. Because so many of the women in this book are women one wouldn’t expect to have ended up being HIV positive. I know on a personal level when I speak out people are shocked, surprised, can’t belive the fact that I’ve been living with HIV for nearly twenty years.”

The estimates reported by the AIDS Commission of Asia (2007) suggest that at least 75 million men regularly buy sex from about ten million women. Men engaging in paid sex form the biggest population group infected with HIV with an estimated 50 million women being wives of these high risk men.

SOUNDBITE (English) Susan Paxton, Author & APN+ Advisor:
”Women who are living with HIV do tend to face more discrimination than men, because HIV is always associated with sex or drug use. Although most women contract HIV through their long term partners or their husbands, people don’t realize that.”

Women like Kiren from Malaysia who live with HIV draw strength from knowing that there are others out there like her.

SOUNDBITE (English), Kirenjit Kaur, Administrative Officer, Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organisations (APCASO):
”The feeling was really very strong when I went for the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, in 2004, when there was over 20,000 people attending that conference. That was really when I felt that ”Hey, I’m not alone”.”

“Diamonds” will be officially launched by UNIFEM and The Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV (APN+) at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP). The conference takes place in Bali, Indonesia from 9-13 August 2009. The documentary has just premiered at the 2009 Q Film Festival in Jakarta.
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