Distanced but not Disconnected: Stories of Community Resilience, Rights and Responsiveness Amidst COVID-19

> Communities and Civil Society Actions and Solidarity in Response to COVID-19

Watch the Trailer Now! 


The world is hit hard by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). People living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and key populations are severely affected by the current measures taken by national governments to address the spread of the disease. Stigma, discrimination, violence, legal and policy barriers, proof of identity issues among others will further aggravate the plight of the already vulnerable and marginalized communities and severely affect their access to essential goods and services.

Nationwide lockdowns and the curfews in countries will impede our communities accessing life-saving medicine and health services. With the health workforce burdened by the COVID-19 responses, our communities will face further challenges in receiving information about their existing health conditions and COVID-19.

Despite all hardships, our communities have yet again come together in solidarity to respond to COVID-19. Local organizations led by and serving people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and key populations have commenced their emergency responses for COVID-19 to ensure that the communities they serve have uninterrupted access to life-saving medicine and other essential requirements.

The 30-minute documentary video produced by GFAN AP  featuring five community speakers from India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, representing HIV, TB and Malaria communities in Asia-Pacific highlights the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and related lockdowns and curfews impacting the HIV, TB and Malaria responses in countries. It sheds light on the emergency responses by the communities not only to ensure uninterrupted  HIV, TB, and malaria health services but also to protect and promote human rights, dignity and equality for communities living with and or affected by and vulnerable to HIV, TB and malaria during the pandemic.

The documentary recognizes and applauds the efforts of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in protecting the hard-won gains against HIV, TB and malaria across the world.

It also calls upon the Global Fund Partnership including donor countries, Private Sector and Private Foundations and  National Governments among others to contribute to Global Fund’s efforts to continue fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect progress against HIV, TB and Malaria by pledging to the Global Fund’s emergency funds for COVID-19.

Watch the Documentary Now!



Distanced but not Disconnected: Stories of Community Resilience, Rights and Responsiveness Amidst COVID-19 features the following speakers: 

Abhina Aher

Abhina Aher

Technical Expert on Key populations, I-TECH India

Abhina Aher is an ardent transgender activist from New Delhi, India who is openly living with HIV.

She is a member of the India Working Group for Health Advocacy (IWG) and over the years in her role formerly with the India HIV/AIDS Alliance – which is an NGO Principal Recipient (PR) of Global Fund grants has worked closely with communities of men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people, sex workers, people who use drugs.

Prior to joining the India HIV/AIDS Alliance, she has worked with organisations such as The Humsafar Trust (Mumbai), Family Health International (FHI), Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programme (CCP).  She is also a founder of a transgender dancing group called Dancing Queens in 2009 that aims to use dance and expression as a medium to break barriers and works on trans advocacy; and was featured in an episode of “Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World

She is currently working with Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC-India) as the Technical Expert on Key Populations.

Dr Khuat Thi Hai Oanh

Dr Khuat Thi Hai Oanh

Executive Director, Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI)

Dr Khuat Thi Hai Oanh is a medical doctor graduated from Hanoi Medical University and co-founded the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) in 2002. In 2014, she was given given the Dedoner Clayton Award by the French Pasteur Institute and Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinousi and was listed among the 50 most influential Vietnamese Women by Forbes Vietnam. She is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI).

SCDI focuses on community empowerment and creating enabling environments for the most marginalised and vulnerable populations such as sex workers, drugs users, people living with HIV, their spouses and children, poor migrants, ethnic minorities and LGBTQI people. In addition, SCDI is a sub-recipient of Global Fund grants in Vietnam and works closely on malaria through the Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative to Elimination (RAI2E) grant, a multi-country grant on malaria funded by the Global Fund.

Daniel Marguari

Daniel Marguari

Executive Director, Yayasan Spiritia

Daniel Marguari is the Executive Director of Yayasan Spiritia (Spiritia Foundation) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Spiritia Foundation works closely to support networks of People Living with HIV and key populations – including people who use drugs, sex workers, transgenders, and men who have sex with men throughout Indonesia. Spiritia Foundation has been a recipient of the Global Fund from 2011 – 2016 as a sub-recipient and as a PR from 2016, it manages US$55 million to support key and vulnerable populations, working closely with their partners throughout Indonesia.

Daniel has a degree in Business Administration and in the mid-1990s began his career in the private sector taking on the management of the personnel and general affairs department of a well-established company in Jakarta. He began to be involved in HIV advocacy when a close relative passed away from AIDS and began volunteering with Spiritia Foundation and in 2002, made the decision to devote himself to Spiritia Foundation after the passsing away of one of the co-founders of Spiritia Foundation. 

Lady Roslyn Morauta

Lady Roslyn Morauta

Board Vice Chair, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Lady Roslyn Morauta has worked in Papua New Guinea for the National Planning Office, the Department of Finance and Treasury and in the private sector, both as a management consultant and running businesses. Originally from Australia, she has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea since 1982. Prior to that, she worked in publishing in England, taught politics at the University of Ghana, the Australian National University and Queensland University.

In addition to her work on the Global Fund Board, she has served as a member of the Anglicare (PNG) board, the Papua New Guinea National AIDS Council, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS, the Papua New Guinea Alliance of Civil Society Organisations Against HIV/AIDS and the Papua New Guinea Maritime College Board.

Daxa Patel

Daxa Patel

President, National Coalition of People Living with HIV (NCPI+)

Daxa Patel is an HIV Activist openly living with HIV from Surat, Gujarat, India. She is the President of the National Coalition of People Living with HIV in India (NCPI+) which has presence across 32 states, and she is a founding and active member of the India Working Group for Health Advocacy (IWG).

Daxa was diagnosed with HIV in 1997 and started engaging in HIV work as a peer counsellor with SAHAS and in 2003 co-founded the Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNSP+).

Daxa led successful advocacy at the national level to promote of PAP smears for eligible women living with HIV. In 2005 she developed partnerships with the Reliance in Surat for free ART medicine while government had not initiated this in the city. This partnership now sustains – with other services – 30 beds in the hospital with free services, nutrition, diagnostic, treatment, doctor consultation, reliance with other donors providing nutritional support to 200 children living with HIV and women living with HIV who are widows. 

Peter Sands

Peter Sands

Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Peter Sands has been the Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since March 2018. 

Since June 2015 Peter has been a Research Fellow at Harvard University, dividing his time between the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Global Health Institute. 

Peter was Group CEO of Standard Chartered PLC from November 2006 to June 2015, having joined the Board of Standard Chartered as Group CFO in May 2002. 

Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Peter was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co., and has served on various boards and commissions, including the UK’s Department of Health, the World Economic Forum and the International Advisory Board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Peter graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He also received a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was a Harkness Fellow.  

Meirinda Sebayang

Meirinda Sebayang

Chair, Jaringan Positif Indonesia (Positive Indonesia Network)

Meirinda Sebayang is an HIV and TB activist, who survived MDR-TB from Jakarta, Indonesia. She is the Chair of Jaringan Positif Indonesia (Positive Indonesia Network); a member of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and Chair of the HIV Technical Working Group of the CCM; and a member of the Communities Delegation to the Stop TB Partnership Board.

Meirinda is a champion of women rights in Indonesia and is an advocate on the issues faced by key populations. 

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