Formerly International HIV Partnerships (IHP)

Secretariat of the Chemsex Forum


The Table Project is a leadership training and exchange for HIV peer supporters and activists in Asia who want to feel empowered in sharing their work, and being heard in decision making spaces

The Table Project


 The Table Project has been created to empower HIV peer supporters and activists in Asia to influence decision-making locally, nationally, and internationally

It’s called The Table Project because in  2021/22 Asian HIV Peer support training/exchanges, particiants referred repeatedly to “being at the table” with key stakeholders to ensure lasting change

During the Asian HIV Peer Support series in 2021, facilitated by ReShape, the thoughts and needs of the participants were made clear; there are barriers in the way of us accessing a seat at the “table”, so how do we do it? (The lack of linkage between systems and services was made clear.)

When we talk about the “table” we mean places where important decisions about marginalised communities are being discussed and decided. This could be parliament, meetings with government officials or policy makers, medical associations etc. Commonly places where community are left out and struggle to be heard. It’s vital that community (peer supporters, activists etc) is at the forefront of where the decisions are being made.  “Nothing for us without us.”

“Tables” come in all shapes and sizes and in this project we begin by guiding you through a process, where you can define what “table” you want.



“Focusing on what you can achieve long term not what you feel needs to be done. And so once we’re built to be in a position, where we’ve dealt with our issues, we can then much more powerfully argue for a better world from our own experience. And if we can all do that together, you know, that idea about strength in numbers, building a community where we, I didn’t want to say fight back, but I kind of do because that’s the actual terminology. I’m not a fighter. I’m a lover, not a fighter. But you know, that’s what got me here as well. So it’s, it’s about how you find that balance. But it needs to be done together. But it starts with us”

Asian HIV Peer Support Series Participant

Once you have identified the table that you want to take a seat at, it can be challenging to know how to access it. Authoritative measures play a major role in this. Participants of the Asian HIV Peer support series told us this showed up as: “Not being able to get a foot in the door”, “Struggling to find allies”, “Finding it difficult to contact/ get conversations started with Policy makers.”

This series will look at challenges within the process of getting your seat at the table. For example, being empowered and resourced, using our voices safely and effectively, dealing with shame and rejection and working within restrictive systems.

“But everyone has always come back to this idea which is, who are the people who are going to help us solve the problem? Who’s the individual police person? Who’s the government official? Who are the doctors that have really done well, as Janithe has been describing that there are doctors who are paying attention in Sri Lanka. So it’s always who are going to be at the tables and have these negotiations. That’s just a thought. But welcoming other people who want to talk informally”

Asian HIV Peer Support Series Participant

Potential people and bodies that may sit at your desired table include policy makers, medical authorities, government, police, law makers, funders, ministries of health. They all have one thing in common – they see the issues faced through a different lens and don’t necessarily see the issues faced first hand.

We need people who understand us and can lobby on our behalf. We need to see community representation, healthcare providers and peer supporters. The more you work on getting allies to the table, the more mindsets you can change and the higher the level policy makers you can reach.



“Because society won’t change without us educating each other. So we educate ourselves, we support ourselves and each other, and we grow and learn, and for some of those of us who then feel confident, can take that next step… We can also then have those conversations with our healthcare providers, with our teachers where we go to college, or school or wherever it may be, we can make a change in the world. And it’s not about us having to think that we’ve got to change everyone in the world. But having that little drop that we make, and the ripple effect, that our being open about our status, and and having the people around us understand is really important.”

Asian HIV Peer Support Series Participant

Through mutual learning with Asian Peer Supporters case studies of experienced activists throughout regions in Asia, we will explore ideas of making change from the margins, connecting with a diverse and respectful community and cultivating abilities to care for ourselves and others when you may feel discriminated and stigmatised against. We will address difficulties in making contact and creating dialogue with policy makers. The Table Project will also explore the important topic of safety. It will address concerns surrounding the fears of speaking to services and feeling that you are putting yourself at risk. That goes with speaking to local authorities as well. We have heard from the Asian Peer Support Series that there is a need for communication training to improve our skills and be able to make yourself heard with authorities at the “table”.

The Table Project is a leadership training and exchange for HIV peer supporters and activists who want to feel empowered in sharing their work, public speaking and feeling heard in decision making spaces. 

“We are unsure if you’re talking to medical providers, you know, will actually lead to some kind of consensus or some kind of compromise. But this is the issue that we are facing and if we can learn from the experience of other countries around the region or internationally, we’d be very grateful for it.”

Asian HIV Peer Support Series Participant

“So looking forward very much to hearing the inputs and perspectives from across the region because Asia is so complex and varied, it’ll be wonderful to see the similarities and the differences and the potential for sharing strategies across our different communities”

Participant from the Asian Peer HIV Support Series

“We as an organization want to help people recover, we are actually aligned with what the country wants, you know, so being able to, at least, in a way, show that, you know, we are aligned, we might be doing things differently, you know, we are generating evidence that we don’t actually have yet, you know, for the community. So, I think that that’s the overall kind of, like strategy that we use, and, you know, we sometimes have some conflict in terms of, you know, disagreements around policies, but we always have an on going conversation with all the stakeholders around some of these things”

Participant from the Asian Peer HIV Support Series

“You know, in the perspective of HIV and public health, so that’s why we have engaged from the Vietnam administration of HIV AIDS control, we are trying to engage them in most of our activity related to chemsex. Because we also have to consider, there are some risks for the organization working on the issues with the police, that we are trying to help them in most of our discussions with others”

Participant from the Asian Peer HIV Support Series

“But everyone has always come back to this idea which is, who are the people who are going to help us solve the problem? Who’s the individual police person? Who’s the government official? Who are the doctors that have really done well, there are doctors who are paying attention in Sri Lanka. So it’s always who are going to be at the tables and have these negotiations”

Participant from the Asian Peer HIV Support Series

” In order to get a way in to getting a buy in from government sectors, Ministry of Health, the doctors who make decisions, is it possible for us to think strategically to maybe go into the government websites, find out who are the HIV treating doctors who carry some weight within the organ within the Ministry of Health to feed into different programs like on HIV or harm reduction or STI s and things like that. People who may be working actively at hospitals and who actually see the problem first hand, not the policymakers in the capital cities, but the people who are actually on the ground, the HIV positive patients and try to engage with them, or people close to them, whether it’s the nurses, the medical experts, the medical assistance, people, I’m sure there’s somebody within those organizations in the hospitals who are also part of the LGBTQ community. So people who I understand and people who can lobby on our behalf, but they are also straddling the community side of the epidemic. And they also facing the epidemic, from the service, the health care providers side of it, so they see everything and they understand so if we can get them on board and bring more and more treating doctors on board to lobby for it, maybe we can change some mindsets in the upper level policymakers. Maybe that group can be used”

Participant from the Asian Peer HIV Support Series

Introduction to the course

The Table Project offers:

Training/Exchange Learning – A two way exchange between particiants and facilitators

Featuring experienced Asian facilitators and speakers

Eight sessions spread across nine months with a one-month break

Coaching /mentoring opportunities

Building a network, connecting with like minded activists

A small group of participants

Certification upon completion of course

Interpretation can be provided in your language if needed

"My country's system is restrictive"



The Table Project will showcase work from HIV Peer Supporters and activists in Asia with a focus on working within restrictive systems


"I need to speak with my regional authorities, I don't feel heard"



The course will provide communication training tools designed to empower and effectively use your voice

" I don't know how to start informing policymakers what I am seeing in my community"


The Table Project is a shared learning, co-collabrated course, based in solidarity to create a supportive space for motivation and inspiration

"I hear so many of my activist peers suffering from burnout"


Exploring self care within the role of the activist. How can we take care of ourselves in order to take care of others?


"I have tried to approach decision makers but I can't gain traction'


We will co-create small coached projects for you and the vision of your work

"I feel alone in my work"


Join us in creating a supportive network of  HIV Peer Supporters and activists in Asia


Who is the Table Project for?

HIV Peer Supporters or Activists working within Asia

You may have had little or long term experience as a Peer Supporter/Activist and want to see your work be more visible to create change at system, policy and medical level

Who is the Table Project not for?

Decision makers, policy makers, CEO’s or managers of non-profits

People with a seat at the table where their voice is heard and acted on. If you are in this privilaged postion and would like to help and offer support to the particpants of this activity, please email Nia at

The needs assessments from the Asian HIV Peer Support Series showed that the HIV peer supporters/ activists wanted and needed support:

They were working in a restrictive system

They wanted to be the change but they didn’t know how

They felt they lacked training for communicating with “authority” figures eg. Government, medical staff, leaders

They were not listened to by politicians or “authority figures”

They didn’t feel safe speaking out as a peer supporter in fear of criminalisation, being shamed or stigmatised

They didn’t know where to start or where to find allies, leading to loneliness and burnout

This feedback has led to the creation of The Table Project

Module content of the course


A leadership training and exchange for HIV peer supporters and activists in Asia who want to feel empowered in sharing their work, and being heard in decision making spaces

We will equip ourselves with skills and practices for making change from the margins

We will be connected to a diverse and respectful community which supports us in our experiments

We will cultivate abilities to care for ourselves and others to promote enlivening sustainable activism

June 2024 – Feb 2025 (dates may change)


Module 1 – Identifying your Table

June 2024 (one online meeting dates tbc)

Module 2 – Assembling allies for your Table 

July 2024

Module 3 – Collaborating at the Table

September 2024

Module 4 – Safeguarding the Table

October 2024

Module 5 – Working at an uneven Table

November 2024

Module 6 – Managing stigma at the Table

December 2024

Module 7 – Coping with Table pressures

January 2025

Module 8 – Sustaining A Table with Hope

February 2025

You don't have to do this alone

About ReShape and The Asian Peer Support Series

About ReShape –

ReShape is a dynamic resource consultancy and think tank, fostering global collaborations within and beyond the scope of the HIV response, to centre marginalised communities and their hopes and needs for sexual health, mental well-being, social equity, and justice.

In an era marked by increasing social disparities, migration, waning civil societies, confusion, movement fatigue and social loneliness, our work plays a pivotal role in uniting communities and their leaders. We champion networking, open-source sharing, co-creational project development, mutual mentoring, solidarity, and movement building to neutralise social and structural inequities.

ReShape is the secretariat for the Chemsex Forum and holds registration in the UK and The Netherlands as ReShape/International HIV Partnerships Community Interest Company and ReShape/International HIV Partnerships Stichting, respectively.

See more about the original Asian HIV peer support online training & exchange series here

The goal of this project is to inspire dialogue, share expertise and build community among peer supporters and activists responding to HIV in Asia. 

Due to several factors, many  HIV responders in Asia remain isolated from one another.  At the same time, individual responses to the epidemic have emerged throughout Asia and there is a wealth of expertise that would be beneficial throughout the region and the rest of the world. This initiative was borne out of the expressed needs of peer supporters in Asia and ReShape’s partners, Dr Hideta Nakamura, Garry Brough, Simon Collins and Bruce Richman.


“It’s always a pleasure to work with ReShape. They are incredibly collaborative and engage effectively with so many key global partners. They come up with great ideas to stimulate new approaches and connections, as well as managing the admin and the outreach, making it very easy for me to participate.”

Garry Brough, Positively UK and Fast Track Cities Initiative London


“ReShape has been very good at fostering discussions among organisations and groups that would have otherwise not come together. They have prioritised inclusivity of marginalised voices, which is important. It has meant that discussions are rich and really interesting, which in turn encourages engagement. ReShape remains unique and very effective in the way they operate.”

Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma, International Development Consultant, London


“Foundation for Social Education has had a strong cooperation for many years with ReShape. Their knowledge, experience and openness to other organisations have repeatedly helped us build a strong and cooperating organisation. They are incredibly open to new ideas and opportunities for action, but also willingly join local activities. It is a great pleasure to work with them.”

Magdalena Ankiersztejn-Bartczak, PhD, Foundation for Social Education, Warsaw


The course says it is funded. Do I have to pay anything?

This training/exchange is fully funded.  If your application is successful there will be no fee

Will there be speakers?

Each session will feature experienced Asian facilitators and speakers

What should I include in my application?

We have made the application process as simple as possible.  Please feel free to write in your language. Please tell us as much as possible about you and your work in peer support and activism paid or voluntary

When will I hear back about my application?

Applications for the Table Project are now open and will close on….. We will work with Asian activists during the selection process and you will hear back by…….

How many people will be accepted?

25 participants

Do I have to be from/ working in Asia to apply?

This course is for Asian HIV Peer Supporters/ Activists engaging in work in Asia.  Please tell us where you are based in the application.  If you are living outside of Asia but providing work for Asia you still may qualify

Will there be an interview process?

No.  Our Asian partners will be conducting the selection process.  We hope to get a diverse population across the Asia region

How do I apply?

Please apply through the application form (application here)

Is there a deadline for completing my application?

The deadline to apply is 2 June 2024

Is there a limit to the number of applications I can submit?

Yes you can only submit one application. If more than one are sent we will have to review your first application

Will there be interpretation in my language ?

The sessions will be in English.  Please tell us in our application if you require translation and which language

Will it only be on Zoom?


Will there be a certification at the end of the project?

Each partipant who completes the course will be sent a certificate of creditation

Will there be a money to cover my internet costs to join the meetings?

Please let us know if you require support to your internet costs