APCOM HIV-preventing organization has founded a Hero Awards to tribute all the eminent people, who are relevant to LGBT-inclusiveness and HIV-prevention, from across the Asia and Pacific. APCOM is a regional network that operates as a coalition of about three hundred people from different countries of the world, who highlights, prioritizes and advocates for LGBT rights and HIV issues.
Earlier these days, another wonderful Hero Awards ceremony took place in Bangkok. It honored people from different segments of society, who advocate for transgender rights, marriage equality or HIV prevention. Eight people received the Prize. More than three hundred people attended the inaugural ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand. Among the winners was Chi Chia-wei – Taiwan’s acclaimed LGBT rights campaigner, who led the country’s recently successful charge for marriage equality. Transgender Hero became Khartini Slamah – Malaysia’s esteemed transgender activist, who dedicated his life to transgender rights and health. Gautam Yadav, 25, was granted a HIV Hero award for his exceptional work as an HIV activist and role model for young people with HIV in India. Community Ally award went to the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre Professor Praphan Panupak alongside with Health and Wellbeing Hero that has been given to another Thailand resident – Dr Frits van Griensven for his outstanding work as an HIV researcher and community health advocate. Pakistan’s Qasim Iqbal was deemed a Social Justice Hero for his trailblazing advocacy for LGBT health and rights. The Bandhu Social Welfare Society received the Community Organization Award for its work in relation to HIV, health and rights of LGBT people in Bangladesh. And the most distinguishing award for Extraordinary Achievement, which is called a Shivananda Khan Award, benefited India’s Ashok Row Kavi for his forty years of outstanding service as an LGBT rights activist and HIV advocate. The name of the award comes from Shivananda Khan, who was not only a founder of APCOM, but also a pioneering hero of the Asia Pacific response to HIV and LGBT health and rights.