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The title right there was the sentence precedent to us being mentioned winners. And if you are wondering, Yes it is our 2nd win in a row. We are privileged to be winners of the just concluded Fast Forward Golden egg award, at the International AIDS Conference.–AGAIN. The first time the Uganda Network Of Young People Living With HIV/AIDS won the Golden egg award was in July 2017. And this is a story we tell each time we are asked about this blessing. When the call for innovatiove solutions came out, our E.D Nicholas Niwagaba, then Programs Manager, assembled a video on his smart phone telling the story of the Beauty Pageant; from the regionals to the boot camp and finally the crowning of the Mis and Mr. in the grand finale. When he pitched with this video playing in the background, the high level jury was astounded at how such an intervention was not widely spread. And just like that— we won our first golden egg. This year too, Aidsfonds called for nominations for the fast forward award 2018. This partyicular one was seeking for a local innovation for global challenges in the HIV/AIDS response building bridges between communities and dionors. The nominee would then be given a chance to pitch their innovation to a high level jury at the International AIDS Conference 2018. This time we were much more organised and had a glimpse of what to expect seeing that experience was in our bank. The award searches for innovative solutions organised by and for the community and links them up with donors to increase funding for communities and scale-up successful approaches. Fast forward, the 22nd International AIDS Conference that brings together people from vulnerable communities — including people living with HIV, displaced populations, men who have sex with men, people in closed settings, people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people, women and girls and young people–and collaborate in fighting the disease beyond country borders was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It also doubles as a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic. UNYPA has over the time organised the Y+ beauty pageant, that will be running for the 5th year this year. The Beauty Pageant is a tool we use to disseminate information, form networks with community leaders, empower young people living with HIV with knowledge as well as advocate for their rights in a bid to end the stigma and discrimination they face becvause of their status. Special thanks goes out to Aidsfonds for organising this initiative, to our partners that have supported the successful implementation of the Y+ beauty Pagaent. Just like the World cup tour, we hope to have a visit to partner organisations to grace them with the opportunity to touch the golden egg.

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