AIDS2016

katie06's picture

The International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) has officially begun in Durban, South Africa. 

I spent my first couple days in Durban attending Living 2016, an official pre-conference of AIDS 2016. The Living 2016 pre-conference is a leadership summit for people living with HIV. It is designed to give energy, support and training to activists. A recurring theme I heard throughout the pre-conference was to include more young people living with HIV in our organizations. 

While these young people are facing many of the same challenges you and I face, they face additional challenges. One session gave an example of a youth being one of the last to know their status. Their parent hid the youth’s HIV status from them, but told others, such as teachers and an uncle. Another example included youth being told their entire life not to have sex. Only to reach an age where they wanted to have an intimate relationship and have a child. 

These sessions taught me to value young activists and acknowledge their challenges. As leaders, we need to include youth in the leadership, development and evaluation of programs. When we involve youth, it is important to allow and welcome their freedom of expression and respect their knowledge of these different challenges.  

As leaders, we need to work in solidarity with those who are different than us because that is how we effectively change the status quo to make a REAL difference!

 

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Ey Katy how I wish I was

loney tune's picture

Ey Katy how I wish I was there but you'll keep us updated. I also share the same views as involving the youth because these are the people who are most affected by hiv whether direct or indirect. Some of these youth want so badly to be heard they want to help but they dnt have the resources and guidance from the elderly. We as the youth are soo in denial about this that we dont see that it is killing us. It is hard for us as youth to voice out our concerns because we are afraid that people will judge us or lough at us. If only we could be trained on self confidence and self acceptance it would be easy. I think that the only way we could have an hiv free generation by involving the youth

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Very true, loney tune!

kmartel's picture

We hope to help you become one of those confident voices!

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International AIDS Conference

tj30trust's picture

Thank you Katie06 for this very thoughtful blog! The youth should definitely be included and also those youth who are at risk. Resources should be available for them to take control of their own healthcare!

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International AIDS Conference

tj30trust's picture

Thank you Katie06 for this very thoughtful blog! The youth should definitely be included and also those youth who are at risk. Resources should be available for them to take control of their own healthcare!

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