We are migrating officially from the 90-90-90 targets to the 95-95-95 by 2030! That obviously means we have made great steps in curbing HIV/AIDS, so we need to cement the forces that will accelerate the forces that will make this possible; the young people. It is for this reason that we have spent the second day dealing with the theme “Peers in Advocacy”. It’s been another day of fun and engagement, so let’s share the highlights with you.
The Peer led Approach; Today’s Abstract
Nathan Kamara is a young man, and having worked as a peer educator and also an organisation champion, he was in such fine position to present the abstract on advocacy. He broke the day with his session where he highlighted why young people need to exploit their opportunities to influence policies because usually, they are the people that are most directly affected.
Power Quote “Don’t let yourselves be used. If its meetings, why go for those in the night when you aren’t sure of the people? Don’t just sit and wait for transport refund. Make the best of your time”
The Status Quo on Adolescent and YPLHIV
We were blessed to have a guest speaker with the magnitude of Dr Karusa Kiragu, the country Director of UNAIDS. Her presentation, much similar to that of Dr Eleanor Namusoke-Magogo highlighted the current stand on HIV/AIDS among adolescents and young people. Dr Eleanor addressed the issues on uptake, adherence and suppression, using statistics from a 2017 survey by the Ministry of Health. The statistics showed that the retention rate among young people is very low, with more than 50% not returning to treatment. The task is clear for young people to make that change
Power Quote “HIV started with the elders but I strongly believe it can stop with the young people. Your work is taking us a step forward”- Dr Karusa Kiragu
Henk Jan Bakker made a cameo appearance today as he always does for our activities. Man was all suited up, stepping up to the podium and delivering the remarks that bore this power quote of assurance.
Power Quote: “I’m your biggest cheerleader. I will support you always to make sure you achieve what you want for all young people”
Getting the youthful groove into things
On top of all the fun and dancing, Bakshi Asuman and Olga Daphyne took our young people through the session of Meaningful Youth Participation (MYP), a choice for young people to make impact in their communities. They combed through the cores of MYP so that when the young people are out there on the journey to become advocates, they aren’t underutilizing their skills in the shadows of the adults.
A chip off the main course
Today we had multiple breakaway sessions on policy advocacy, HIV and the law, Men Engagement in HIV and SRHR among other topics. Learning is not a one-way street, so we tried to see to it that aside the main sessions, the young people were getting lessons from the side sessions.
And for day two, that is how the cookie crumbled. The finale is on tomorrow, so we hope you will follow #YPlusSummit19 online so that you don’t miss a second.