The AIDS 2008 Youth Programme will be an opportunity to empower young people, advocate for current and critical issues affecting youth worldwide, and further pinpoint current strategies for effective change. In addition, the programme is working to focus on HIV-positive young people through targeted outreach to HIV-positive youth serving organizations. There will be a new component for young scientists participating in the conference which will help to engage not only activists, but youth from many different fields.
Please see the conference profile for more details on youth attendance and registration.
Youth Programme objectives:
Youth Programme Guiding Principles
- To empower young people from both developing and developed countries to be effective advocates at the conference;
- To facilitate the collaboration of stakeholders committed to youth HIV/AIDS issues at the conference;
- To promote youth participation and the inclusion of youth issues in the mainstream conference agenda, in press generated from the conference, and in HIV/AIDS programmes and policies in general; and
- To gain and achieve international and individual commitments which promote youth leadership and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people.
The youth programme will have five guiding principles to aid programme planning. These include: leadership has no age limits; meaningful participation; greater involvement of people living with HIV (GIPA); community participation (Geneva principle) and; consultation and accountability.
Youth Programme Activities
Activities will include a youth pre-conference, a youth website, a youth reception, a youth pavilion, outreach activities, cultural activities related to youth, sessions and workshops.
Governance and Support
A Youth Working Group (YWG) has been established to direct and support youth activities at AIDS 2008. The YWG is comprised of youth who are involved and dedicated to the HIV response. Members come from very different backgrounds and areas of expertise and will assist in providing youth with the tools needed to navigate AIDS 2008 and prepare youth for effective advocacy efforts and meaningful participation during the conference.
HIV is a preventable disease. Prevention demands sustainable, science-based programmes. Programmes focused on youth with active youth involvement have shown to decrease HIV prevalence and increase condom use. However, many global, national, and local leaders and policy makers continue to leave youth out of interventions affecting their lives. It is necessary to engage, encourage, and acknowledge youth as assets in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The International AIDS Conference will include youth in all stages of development. We need Universal Action Now from young people and for young people.