Privileging The Personal: effectively mobilising Asian gay men in HIV health promotion

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Asian MSM/gay men can be hard to reach with HIV awareness messages. Health promotion is affected by their experiences of stigma, sexual racism, homophobia and other challenges. Min Fuh Teh, (ACON) describes a new resource for gay Asian men and offers a perspective on how health promotion can be effectively provided in the context of broader exploration of a gay/MSM individual's wellbeing. This presentation was given at the AFAO/NAPWA Gay Men's HIV Health Promotion Conference in May 2012.

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  • In this brief presentation I want to look at the ‘problem’ of HIV among CALD communities and in the process use this as an opportunity to raise some questions which I think are pertinent to the way we respond to HIV among CALD communities over the next five years.
  • We can see here that Asian gay men should be a strong focus of our HIV health promotion efforts
  • Privileging The Personal: effectively mobilising Asian gay men in HIV health promotion

    1. 1. Privileging The Personaleffectively mobilising Asian gay men in HIV health promotion Min Fuh Teh Community Health Promotion Officer (Asian Gay Men’s Project), ACON
    2. 2. Why work with Asian gay men? Country of Birth Thailand Nationally, Asian men make up the China, Hong Kong, highest group in MSM/gay HIV Taiwan notification after men of Anglo Vietnam Indonesia background, 13.9% for 2009 (Kirby Philippines Institute, 2010) Malaysia Brazil Singapore(CDB, NSW Ministry of Health, 2011)
    3. 3. Myths & Assumptions• Hard to reach• Apathy - Asian culture’s conservative…we can’t talk about sex…why bother?• What is “Asian” anyway?
    4. 4. The reality on the ground• ‘Minority within a minority’• Between ethnic and sexual worlds-pressure from both sides• HIV stigma• Sex a private issue• Challenges of everyday life…“HIV is not a priority, work, life, settling in, finding love, these are!”
    5. 5. “Our work against the AIDS pandemic can only be won on the cultural level”*Dr. George Ayala, Executive Officer of MSMGF, and Vallerie Wagner, of AIDS ProjectLos Angeles. “War Diaries,” Tisa Bryant & Ernest Hardy (ed.), AIDS Project Los Angeles(APLA) and the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF), 2010.
    6. 6. Beyond black and white
    7. 7. Of Intersections and Collateral Benefits• Limited resources, competing priorities• Marriage of art with health promotion, identity work and community building “2 birds (or many birds) with one stone”• Culture• Identity• Health Promotion• HIV & Sexual health attitudes• Stigma & preconceptions
    8. 8. The holding environment – a vacuum• Lack of visibility of Asian identities• Role modelling• A hunger to find our own voice and representation• Just beginning to happen - Community dialogue/awareness around intersections of race/culture and sexuality, and how that then impacts health and wellbeing• Individualism vs communalism• Engaging the political
    9. 9. The Trojan Horse• Breaking down barriers with a sexy resource• Mass media• Reach wider audience (not come out, non gay scene attached)• Promotions: engage ethnic media and gay media• Reach ethnic communities: parents and our support systems
    10. 10. The journey counts too! Community Mobilisation• 60 volunteers (and 20 more for events)• Ownership of the process, “for the community, by the community”• Community Building…“I have not been really out, I don’t have many friends who understand me…but now I feel I belong”
    11. 11. AcknowledgmentsSiri MayShinen WongJames GrayDermot RyanGeoff HonnorAndy QuanLaurindo Garcia

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