From April 16 to 19, 2023, Mr. Trinh Dinh Minh Viet – Program Director represented Lighthouse Social Enterprise to participate in the Harm Reduction International 2023 (HRI23) with the support of Youth LEAD. The conference was attended by about 1,000 activists, inventors, researchers, lawmakers and donors.
When attending the conference, Mr. Viet had the opportunity to experience many activities of the conference such as presentations, film screenings, training sessions and relationship building. During the conference, there were 03 sessions that received special attention by Mr. Viet.
The first session: “Integrating Queer Affirmative Counseling Practice into Harm Reduction Therapy” helped Mr. Viet realize the importance of self-awareness and cultural humility in the therapy process. He shared that the experience of using the Queer Affirmation method will help him strengthen the harm reduction methods at Lighthouse Clinic.
The second session: “Stamp out stigma: Addressing stigma as a barrier to viral hepatitis and HIV screening and linkage to care in harm reduction services” was highly approved by Mr. Viet. The session emphasized the use of an intersectional lens with subjects who are stigmatized due to drug use and stigmatized because of being disadvantaged (gay people, transgender people, sex workers, people living with H, etc) to be able to identify the root causes of discrimination and contribute to the eradication and advocacy of these groups.
The final session: “Co-creating better research with marginalized populations: Lessons from a community-led study with sex workers and trafficking survivors” helped Mr. Viet realize the importance of community-led research. Community-led research provides a great opportunity to learn lessons from the community’s own researchers. In addition, community-led research – especially marginalized groups – also show equality and ensure maximum transparency and objectivity in research without being affected by any other factors.
Thus, Lighthouse Social Enterprise had two representatives attending the harm reduction conference. At the same time, Mr. Doan Thanh Tung – Director of Lighthouse attended the conference and had the opportunity to introduce Lighthouse’s activities in harm reduction and chemsex.
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