The aim of the Youth Programme is to work to strengthen the participation of young people and the profile of youth issues at AIDS 2010.
Why do we want young people at AIDS 2010?
Because young people are greatly affected by HIV and AIDS.
Almost half of all new HIV infections in the world are among people under 25. Estimates show that more than 7,400 people become infected with HIV daily, 3,300 of whom are young people. Globally, 5.4 million young people are living with HIV. Young women under age 25 are at an even greater risk for HIV infection and comprise 57.4% of infected youth. Young people remain the most vulnerable group to HIV infection due to many factors, including lack of information, education, societal influences, and inability to access healthcare services.1
Because we want to mobilize networks of young people worldwide.
AIDS 2010 organizers want young people to be a visible presence at the conference, not only as delegates, but also as organizers, speakers, leaders and peers. Young people will have their own areas at the conference, but will also be encouraged to take part in the larger discussions.
Because we want to empower young people.
Our aim is to advocate for current and critical issues affecting young people worldwide, and further pinpoint current strategies for effective change. Building youth leadership is crucial to an effective AIDS response among young people and by young people, especially for key affected populations.. This includes, but is not limited to, young people living with HIV, young people who use drugs, young sex workers, young men who have sex with men, young women, young migrants, and youth in prisons. We are excited to reach out to young people throughout the world, and to focus specifically on issues in Austria and in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
Objectives of the AIDS 2010 Youth Programme:
- Encourage consistent and effective participation of young people at the International AIDS Conference and throughout the conference planning processes;
- Promote the participation of young people and the inclusion of youth issues in the main conference programme, in media coverage generated at the conference and in AIDS programmes and policies in general;
- Work to ensure young people have the resources to access decision-makers with effective advocacy to protect the rights of all young people, especially the rights of vulnerable groups such as young people who use drugs, young sex workers, young men who have sex with men, young migrants, youth in prisons and young people living with HIV;
- Support peer-to-peer capacity-building among young people in order to provide them with necessary advocacy skills and technical knowledge, support, and resources for meaningful participation during the conference and beyond;
- Demonstrate to conference participants, especially decision-makers and donors, that the participation of young people is beneficial, and advocate for the creation of youth-adult partnerships and greater investment in young people’s initiatives; and
- Remind individuals of their commitments to promote youth leadership to mitigate the impact of HIV on young people. The Youth Programme will also provide opportunities to generate new commitments to youth.
Youth Programme Activities
The Youth Pavilion in the Global Village is the main networking space for young people at AIDS 2010. The pavilion will host a diverse programme of sessions, workshops, performances and exhibitions.
Other Youth Programme activities include symposia and a leadership development workshop for delegates, a youth pre-conference, a youth reception, and an advocacy campaign that will include the mobilization of young people for the human rights march (more details about this event will be posted on the conference website in the coming months).
A pocket guide will be provided to young delegates to highlight all youth-related sessions at AIDS 2010 and make participation easier.
AIDS 2010 Youth Programme Working Group
The Youth Programme Working Group is the official organizing body that prepares the AIDS 2010 Youth Programme. The Working Group plans sessions and workshops related to young people, organizes the Youth Pavilion in the Global Village, and a lounge for young people living with HIV. It consists of young people and adults from different regions of the world, who work together to prepare the official AIDS 2010 Youth Programme.
The Vienna YouthForce was launched after AIDS 2008 and is a global platform for international, regional and local youth organizations that focus on HIV and AIDS, as well as on the sexual and reproductive health and the rights of young people. The Vienna YouthForce organizes youth activities and advocacy campaigns prior to and during the conference, such as the youth pre-conference, youth advocacy campaigns and the youth commitments desk. Ten youth organizations are currently represented on the Vienna YouthForce, including Advocates for Youth, Community Forum Austria, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, the World AIDS Campaign, Youth Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, YouAct, Y-Peer, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and Youth R.I.S.E.