Community Advocacy and Policy

Policy and Community

TREAT Asia plays a key advocacy role in the region, using data gathered through the network and its research, to make the case for evidence-based HIV-related policy and programming. TREAT Asia works closely with individual country-based and regional advocates, and amfAR’s U.S.-based Public Policy Office and Public Information department to develop strategies for urging governments, HIV/AIDS organizations, donors, and pharmaceutical companies to invest in broader access to affordable, high-quality HIV and co-infection treatment, and for the removal of barriers that prevent many people, including key-affected populations, from accessing care.

These barriers may include high pricing of medicines, low awareness of infection and advocacy opportunities among patient groups, national drug regulatory delays, trade negotiations, and non-availability of highly potent medications in national programs.

Hepatitis C, a common HIV co-infection, is a serious and underreported global health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 71 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and 399,000 die of HCV-related causes each year. But despite the existence of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) that can cure more than 95% of people with HCV, these drugs remain difficult to access for many who need them. TREAT Asia advocates for HCV treatment access and trains physicians in the care of patients with HIV/HCV coinfection.

TREAT Asia also supports national and regional programs working to build skills and empower those at risk, infected, or affected by HIV/AIDS. For example, through its Youth Asia Community for AIDS Treatment and Advocacy (ACATA) program, it helps young people who have grown up with HIV develop leadership skills, understand their infection and their rights, and advocate at the national, regional, or international level.

Where Are They Now? Catching up with Pheng Pharozin, Sam Nugraha, and Thomas Cai of the original TREAT Asia ACATA program